February 26, 2021

2020 Average Jury Verdicts

Each January, we are given a summary of all jury verdicts in civil cases in the greater Kansas City area. Published by the Greater Kansas City Jury Verdict Service, it is a helpful tool for lawyers, litigants and insurance companies. Of note, civil jury trials for the year of 2020 were significantly affected by the pandemic.

Sanders Warren Russell & Scheer Attorneys, Brad Russell and Beth Evers, handled a case that helped lower the average verdict.

Cantrell v. Christensen, United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri:
The case involved a rear end auto accident in March 2015. Defendant admitted liability at trial but challenged the nature of plaintiff’s damages. Plaintiff alleged a serious neck injury that would require a $214,000 surgery & pain damages totaling a request for an award of over $500,000. In contrast, the defense presented argument through plaintiff’s medical records, the deposition of the ED physician and cross examination of plaintiff’s expert that plaintiff suffered nothing more than a cervical strain that resolved in 8 weeks, culminating in total damages of $20,000. The jury awarded plaintiff $10,000. (Several months before trial, the defense won a partial dispositive motion regarding plaintiff’s failure to timely designate experts that resulted in a sanctions award of $12,956. Because of the previous sanctions, plaintiff ultimately owed the defense $2,956 after trial.)