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.
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.)