Prejudicial Evidence can help sway juries and settle claims quickly…
Sometimes, you capture evidence on video that does not necessarily support the case, but helps it. In this case, we were able to obtain video of a young man who filed a lawsuit alleging a serious back injury, but it was ultimately something that he did – completely unrelated – that brought the case to a successful outcome. Keep reading to find out…
This was a relatively young guy. I believe he was in his early 30’s, and he had three children. He was injured. It was a back injury, and because of his relatively young age, and because of the injury, the claim was worth a lot of money. He was suing for several million dollars, and, more than likely, it was anticipated that he would get a substantial amount of money.
We followed him to a location where he and two of his children were riding four-wheelers, and also a small motorbike. During this time, his daughter, who was probably five or six years old, rode away on this four-wheeler across a field, and the man kept yelling for her to come back. She did not respond to his request.
So, he ran across this field, a distance of approximately 100 yards, and took off his belt, and began whipping her with his belt.
When I saw that, I immediately was blown away. I was in shock. Just seeing a child being beaten with a belt like that, it was not something anybody wants to see (which is why I have removed that part of the clip attached to this post). I turned that video over to my client, an attorney, who then had a settlement hearing with the claimant and his attorney. I also believe there were some doctors present at this hearing.
I was told that, when the video was discussed, the whipping with the belt was included in the conversation that took place in front of the doctors. One of the doctors said, “Well, if that is really on the video, then we are required by law to report this to Child Protective Services.”
That created what you could probably call prejudicial value in the video. Not only did the video show that he could run and that he wasn’t disabled, but the fact that he did something that could be considered illegal, could certainly influence a jury negatively about his character. I don’t think a jury would be very sympathetic toward him if they saw him beating his daughter with a belt.
When the medical expert made that comment, the claimant’s attorney agreed to a substantially reduced settlement. I don’t know the exact amount, but I was informed by my client that the claimant agreed to a settlement that was over a million dollars less than his initial demand.
This was another case where surveillance proved to be beneficial to my client.