See One of Mike Mullen’s Catastrophic Injury Case Trials

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Juan Diaz v. Nettleton Specialized Carriers – Cook County, October, 2011
This catastrophic injury case arose out of a multi-vehicle chain collision accident on the eastbound Edens Spur at approximately 12:00 noon on June 13, 2008. A tractor trailer operated by an employee of Defendant Nettleton Specialized Carriers, Inc. struck a line of stopped passenger vehicles while traveling at a very high rate of speed. Plaintiff Juan Diaz was struck from behind and rendered quadriplegic. He was represented in the ensuing personal injury litigation by Joseph A. Power of Power, Rogers & Smith, PC while Defendant Nettleton was represented by Michael J. Mullen of Kralovec & Marquard, Chartered

When trial began on October 3, 2011, Plaintiff’s settlement demand was $51 million, the combined limits of all available insurance coverage. The offer at the start of trial was $15 million. Shortly before the commencement of jury selection, Defendant Nettleton admitted liability, causation and injury permanency contesting only the extent of the damages to which the Plaintiff was entitled. During the three-week trial, the Plaintiff black boarded $3.4 million dollars in past medical expense and $18.6 million (present cash value) in future medical and care costs. Defendant Nettleton conceded the past medical expense, conceded that the Plaintiff was in need of 24/7 skilled nursing care for life due to the permanency of his tracheotomy, but contested the nature, cost and present cash value of his future medical and care needs through the testimony of a spinal cord injury specialist, a life care planner and an economist.

Prior to closing arguments, Defendant Nettleton offered $25 million to settle the matter which induced the Plaintiff to reduce his demand to $48 million. In his closing, Plaintiff Attorney Power requested the return of a verdict in the sum of $102 million. Mike Mullen on behalf of Nettleton, requested the return of a verdict in the $18 to $22 million range. On October 21, 2011, after deliberating some four and a half hours over two days, the jury returned its verdict in the sum of $23 million. All appeals were waived as part of a $51 million – $25 million high-low agreement entered into after the jury was charged and began its deliberations.

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