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Articles Posted in Arizona

The average jury award in Arizona personal injury cases is $820,486. The median compensatory award for personal injury trials in Arizona is $30,000. Plaintiffs struggle on liability in Arizona: plaintiffs received damages in 40 percent of personal injury cases that go to trial. The national average is around 53%.

Not surprisingly, the most common type of car accident lawsuits in Arizona are rear end collusion claims, which make up 27% of the motor vehicle lawsuits filed. Intersection collisions and turning collusions were also prominent at 13% and 12%, respectively. Truck accidents lawsuits were 11% of the overall total of accident lawsuits filed.

Seventy-one former Motorola employees have filed a lawsuit claiming exposure to harmful chemicals while producing semiconductors caused birth defects in their children. The plaintiffs worked at a plants in Schaumburg and Arizona between 1965 and 2007. The lawsuit alleges chemicals have caused the children to suffer from birth defects leading to cerebral palsy, autism, blindness, spina bifida, language delays, and epilepsy.

A school in Arizona was sued by a high school football player who injured his ankle during practice. The lawsuit alleges the poor conditions of the practice field caused his ankle injury. The merits of this particular case are unknown, but these kinds of lawsuits make a lot of accident and malpractice lawyers a little squeamish because the “blame the school” approach generally turns off a lot of jurors to personal injury claims.

The interesting legal issue in this one is that the Plaintiff claims that he lost a college scholarship. A tough argument to make because it is so speculative. In a famous case involving a high school (and later college) wrestling great in Iowa (where else?), the court found that there was no property interest in a college scholarship until it was awarded Brands v. Sheldon Community School, 671 F.Supp. 627, 630-631 (N.D. Iowa 1987).

State Senator Jack Harper from Arizona wants to ask voters to let lawmakers limit how much Arizona juries can award to accident and malpractice victims. “This is probably the only year we will have a legislative makeup that will allow the measure to go to the ballot,” said Harper.

Okay. But if this is the only year you can get it through, doesn’t that underscore it is a terrible idea? A great selling point for politics. Less so for doing the right thing.

Arizona voters defeated a similar ballot issue in 1986.

Jury Verdict Research found that that the median money damage award in vehicle accident cases in Arizona is $16,929. Plaintiffs win money damages in 53 percent of cases that go to trial.

JVR also breaks down the type of accident: rear-end accidents accounted for 27 percent of the total number of plaintiff verdicts; intersection accidents accounted for 13 percent; turning collisions accounted for 12 percent; truck accidents accounted for 11 percent; chain reaction collisions accounted for 9 percent. All other liabilities made up 8 percent or less of the total.

I’m not sure why truck accidents were given their own category in these type of accidents. But this Arizona verdict data is interesting, and I think reflects the relative proportions of the different types of vehicle accidents nationally.

The Arizona Court of Appeals found unconstitutional yesterday an Arizona law placing limitations on whether an expert can testify at trial in medical malpractice lawsuits.

The Plaintiff’s lawyer, James J. Syme, Jr., found himself in a pickle because the trial judge, Maricopa County Judge Michael C. Jones granted the defendant’s motion in limine to strike Plaintiff’s only medical expert. Judge Jones reasonably allowed Plaintiff time to find another expert, but the Plaintiff’s lawyer could not locate another expert. (Note: this is usually not the sign of a great medical malpractice case.)

The Arizona Court of Appeals found that the statute Judge Jones relied upon in excluding the expert was unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers provision of the Arizona Constitution. Specifically, the court said that the Arizona Constitution confers on the Arizona Supreme Court the “power to make rules relative to all procedural matters in any court” and the Arizona Supreme Court has previously held that its rulemaking power is “exclusive and may not be infringed by the legislature.”

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