Dan Singel defended the intervener underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier in Trumble v. Rankin and Auto-Owners Ins. Co. (Ramsey County District Court, 2010). The plaintiff’s total damages claim was beyond $1 million—the wage loss claim alone was $806,000. The plaintiff’s lowest demand against our UIM carrier client was policy limits of $100,000. Our highest offer was $5,000.
Before trial, the defense group won a number of key motions in limine that greatly limited the plaintiff’s case. Most notably, the plaintiff’s chiropractor was not allowed to give opinion testimony because the plaintiff’s attorney failed to timely disclose the opinions. At trial, the plaintiff presented evidence of his soft tissue injuries caused by the automobile accident, and his occupational therapist opined that his injuries left him unable to work as he had done prior to the accident.
The defense presented evidence indicating the plaintiff’s claim was exaggerated and that his inability to work was caused by factors other than the auto accident.The jury awarded the plaintiff $39,000, which was reduced to $25,000 given the jury’s finding that the plaintiff contributed to the accident. The low verdict meant Dan’s client’s policy was untouched.