In a recent case, our office dealt with the problem of how to overcome a jury’s “common sense” prejudice that all quadriplegics are essentially the same—that they are all confined to bed. Our client had suffered disabling bed sores while recuperating at Westchester Medical Center (“WMC”) from a serious auto accident. In the medical malpractice suit we brought against WMC, the thrust of our argument was not that the bedsores had caused him pain and suffering (which would have been a very limited damage claim), but that the bedsores had caused him to miss a critical window of opportunity to develop upper body strength, resulting in a permanent loss of the potential to gain increased functioning.
We wanted to show a video to illustrate what our client might have achieved had he not missed this opportunity. The video showed a C-6 quadriplegic individual, who was not our client, aided by special equipment, moving in and out of a wheel chair, into a specially equipped motor vehicle, driving the vehicle and then returning to the chair—all unassisted.
We sought permission for our client’s medical doctor to use the video as “demonstrative evidence” during her trial testimony as an expert witness. We offered the video to assist the jury in understanding the expert’s testimony and in grasping our client’s case.
Our argument was successful, and our proposed use of the video was approved.Please click here for a document that explains our strategy in greater detail.