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Pastry chef said accident injury negatively impacted his job

Amount:

$4,321,258.21

Type:

Verdict-Plaintiff

State:

District of Columbia

Venue:

District of Columbia

Court:

District of Columbia, Superior Court

Injury Type(s):

knee; chest-rib, pain;
other-abrasions; other-arthritis; other-physical therapy; other-decreased range of motion; wrist-fracture, wrist;
epidermis-contusion; surgeries/treatment-internal fixation

Case Type:

Motor Vehicle – Pedestrian

Case Name:

Joshua Short v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority,
No. 2016 CA 003872 V

Date:

August 16, 2018

Parties

Plaintiff(s):

Joshua Short (Male, 45 Years)

Plaintiff Attorney(s):

Oscar A. Rodriguez;
Hooper Hathaway, PC;
Ann Arbor,
MI,
for
Joshua Short ■ J. Michael Hannon;
The Hannon Law Group;
Washington,
DC,
for
Joshua Short ■ Adam M. Linkner;
Hooper Hathaway, PC;
Ann Arbor,
MI,
for
Joshua Short

Plaintiff Expert(s):

Jerome Paige; Ph.D.; Economics; Washington,
DC called by:
Oscar A. Rodriguez, J. Michael Hannon, Adam M. Linkner ■ Philip Marion; M.D.; Physical Medicine; Washington,
DC called by:
Oscar A. Rodriguez, J. Michael Hannon, Adam M. Linkner ■ Robert Ancell; Ph.D.; Vocational Rehabilitation; Detroit,
MI called by:
Oscar A. Rodriguez, J. Michael Hannon, Adam M. Linkner ■ Jonathan Pribaz; M.D.; Orthopedics; Washington,
DC called by:
Oscar A. Rodriguez, J. Michael Hannon, Adam M. Linkner

Defendant(s):

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Defense Attorney(s):

Clifton M. Mount;
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority;
Washington,
DC,
for
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Defendant Expert(s):

Lianne Friedman;
Vocational Rehabilitation;
Montgomery Village,
MD called by:
Clifton M. Mount

Facts:

On Dec. 25, 2015, at approximately 6 p.m., plaintiff Joshua Short, 45, a pastry chef, was leaving the Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, D.C., where he worked. While crossing 16th Street at the intersection with I Street NW, he was struck by a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority bus. He claimed multiple injuries, including a wrist fracture and knee and rib injuries. Short sued WMATA, alleging that its driver was negligent in the operation of the bus. Short claimed he was inside a crosswalk at the time of the accident and that the bus camera video supported his claim. He claimed the bus driver failed to keep a proper lookout, was speeding, failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and failed to avoid the accident. WMATA contended that Short was slightly outside of the crosswalk, wearing dark clothes and carrying a black umbrella. Moreover, it was raining and dark at the time of the accident and, according to WMATA, Short’s umbrella blocked some of his view of the roadway. As a result, the defense maintained that Short was contributorily negligent.

Injury:

Short was transported via EMS to a local emergency room with multiple injuries, including a severely fractured wrist, as well as bilateral knee abrasions and bruised ribs. Doctors initially placed Short’s wrist in a cast, but the fracture did not heal in proper alignment and arthritis began to develop in the wrist. Short underwent surgery in July 2016, which included implantation of hardware, but he said he continued to have limited movement and significant pain. A second surgery was performed in August 2017 in an attempt to clean out the area to reduce the pain, but was unsuccessful. This prompted a third surgery in July 2018 to remove hardware that was placed during the first surgery. Short said he continued to experience pain and that a future wrist fusion (partial or full) may be required. Should he undergo fusion surgery, Short claimed it would end his career as a pastry chef. In addition to the three surgeries, Short underwent physical therapy and other medical treatment. Short claimed his injury severely impacted his ability to work as a pastry chef and cost him the opportunity to work as a pastry chef at the White House. He also said he was unable to continue to be the executive pastry chef at Hay-Adams and settled for a job at a women’s club in the District of Columbia. He claimed he was entitled to medicals, loss of earning capacity and damages for loss of enjoyment of life. The defense did not dispute that Short fractured his wrist, but argued that he should be able to continue working as a pastry chef or work until retirement as a food service manager. The defense disputed the effects of the injury on his ability to earn a living or to enjoy life.

Result:

The jury found for Short and determined that his damages totaled $4,321,258.21.

Joshua Short: $159,596 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost; $31,662 Personal Injury: Past Lost Earnings Capability; $900,000 Personal Injury: Future Lost Earnings Capability; $3,230,000 Personal Injury: emotional distress

Trial Information:

Judge:

Anthony C. Epstein

Demand:

$1,600,000

Offer:

$25,000

Trial Length:

4
 days

Trial Deliberations:

4
 hours

Editor’s Comment:

This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to a request for comment.