Tiffany Jones Wins Defense Verdict (Zero Verdict)

On January 29, 2014, a jury in Duval County, Florida, returned a complete defense verdict (zero verdict) in favor of our client, the defendant, on the issue of causation. The plaintiff was a 62-year-old woman who sued our client, alleging neck, back, and right shoulder injuries culminating in right shoulder surgery. She claimed medical expenses in excess of $80,000.

The accident happened while the plaintiff was sitting in her parked car in a parallel parking lane. Our client pulled up to park behind her, and hit her vehicle in the rear. Our client admitted fault (negligence) for rear-ending the plaintiff, and we defended on the issue of causation. The plaintiff claimed that the impact, which damaged her rear bumper cover, threw her body forward into the steering wheel and dashboard, breaking her sunglasses, giving her a bloody nose (observed by two witnesses), and tearing the rotator cuff tendon in her right shoulder.

Tiffany Jones asked the jury to use common sense to conclude that it was impossible for the impact to have thrown the plaintiff forward. She also presented expert witness testimony to that effect.

This was Tiffany’s first civil jury trial as the lead (1st chair) lawyer for the defense. Steve O’Hara was there, and afterward said that she did an excellent job throughout the trial, and especially in shaping her closing argument around the defense themes (“opportunity and impossibility”). This was a three day trial. The jury deliberated for only 33 minutes before returning a verdict for our client.

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