CVN screenshot of plaintiff attorney Benjamin Cloward delivering his opening statement
Las Vegas, NV - A Nevada state court jury heard opening statements Friday in a trial to determine the amount owed to a woman who suffered spinal injuries after a FedEx truck rear-ended her car, and the proceedings are being webcast gavel-to-gavel via Courtroom View Network.
An attorney for plaintiff Naddia Dhalai told the Clark County jury he would seek more than $5 million in compensation for her injuries, but FedEx, which admitted liability for the accident, argued the facts support a lower amount of compensation.
With the question of liability already determined, the jury will be tasked solely with calculating the fair amount of damages for Dhalai's alleged injuries, with the trial testimony almost entirely involving physicians and other experts retained by both sides.
The case stems from a 2014 accident on the I-95 Freeway. During stop-go traffic, a FedEx driver failed to apply his breaks and smashed into the back of Dhalai’s car, which attorney Ben Cloward of the Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm said crumpled up “like an accordion."
Cloward told jurors the impact left Dhalai with significant injuries to her neck and back requiring extensive and ongoing medical treatment, suggesting she could be afflicted with serious pain for the rest of her life. He detailed past medical expenses of roughly half-a-million dollars and argued her future treatment would cost roughly $4.5 million.
“There’s a huge difference between saying I caused the crash, and saying I caused the crash and I hurt you and I want to make it right,” Cloward said.
Representing FedEx, Michael Nuñez of Murchison & Cumming LLP told jurors Dhalai has largely recovered from the injuries she suffered in the crash and argued her lingering symptoms resulted from a second unrelated vehicle collision months after the FedEx crash.
CVN screenshot of defense attorney Michael Nuñez delivering his opening statement
Nuñez urged jurors not to allow their likely sympathy for the plaintiff to sway their decision, suggesting Dhalai deserved roughly $59,000 for past medical expenses and no amount of damages for future medical expenses. He said evidence would show all of her future medical treatments can be traced to injuries sustained in the second crash.
“The life care plan that plaintiffs are going to present to you, was it authored after the first accident or the second,” Nuñez asked the jury. “Has it been proven to you that plan they’re going to be asking for is reasonable and necessary?”
The trial is taking place before Judge Veronica Barisich and is expected to take a week to complete. CVNs’ camera will be remain present for the duration of the proceedings.
The case is captioned Naddia Dhalai v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc., et al., case number A-16-740737-C in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada.
E-mail David Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org