Aggressive cross examination and top-notch expert witnesses won the case for a hard-working man

Jackson v. Spignola


Roy Jackson was a sewer maintenance worker for the city of Pacifica. Mr. Jackson was in his early 60’s. He held his job for decades and he loved his work.

While working in an intersection on a sewer line, he was hit by a car. He came to Heinrich Law scared, in severe pain, and unable to work.


The case was challenging because Mr. Jackson didn’t suffer from some of the injuries that typically result from being hit by a car. He had no broken bones. He didn’t have a traumatic brain injury. There were no herniations or bulging discs.

We needed to prove how catastrophic Mr. Jackson’s injuries were, even though on the surface, they did not seem severe.

Additionally, the adverse driver, and their insurance company, Farmers Insurance, argued that Mr. Jackson was at fault for the accident. They said, “He should have had more c ones out. He should have been wearing a different color jacket.” They also questioned Mr. Jackson’s integrity and argued that he was exaggerating the extent and impact of his injuries.


There were multiple prongs to our strategy for achieving this settlement:

The right expert witness

Heinrich Law retained a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who could articulate to a jury why Mr. Jackson’s injuries were so significant. Our expert’s examination showed that Mr. Jackson, who had been a laborer for decades, had pre-existing asymptomatic arthritic changes throughout his body, all of which were “lit up” because of the collision. Our expert proved that Mr. Jackson was severely injured, despite having not broken any bones, and that Mr. Jackson’s injuries were directly caused by the subject incident.

Careful investigation of our client’s work history

Heinrich Law completed a thorough investigation into Mr. Jackson’s medical and work history. It was clear that he was not lying or exaggerating about the impact of his injuries. Heinrich Law interviewed, and deposed Mr. Jackson’s co-workers and his supervisors; they all attested to his work ethic. He was a hard worker who loved his job. He had few physical limitations before the incident. He would have likely worked for several more years had he not been hit by a car.

Vigorous cross examination of the defendant driver in deposition

Marjorie Heinrich cross examined the adverse driver in a deposition for several hours on video. The driver admitted she had been distracted. One of her children, in the back seat, had dropped a toy. She briefly turned her head, and at that moment she hit Mr. Jackson. She admitted she wasn’t paying attention. The defendant’s admissions enabled Heinrich Law to conclusively establish fault for the incident.

Negotiating with confidence and knowing the full value of the case

Given what we learned after completing several depositions, and the conclusions reached by our expert medical witness, which were far more logical and persuasive than the defense medical examiner’s opinions, we were confident we would win at trial. We were confident a jury would understand the devasting nature of Mr. Jackson’s injuries and would award significant damages.

Farmers Insurance began to negotiate with us as the trial date approached. We rejected their initial offer of $350,000. As they continued to increase their offers over the subsequent weeks, Heinrich Law continued to decline the offers. We were confident we could obtain a verdict at trial valued well into the seven figures, despite the case being venued in San Mateo, a historically conservative jurisdiction.

Heinrich Law argued that our client was permanently disabled and could not work. He lost his job and his identity. He deserved full compensation for the losses he had sustained due to the negligence of the driver who hit him. Our mission was to make sure that he achieved full justice.


After protracted negotiations, Farmer’s finally made an offer that we considered to be fair and just. We reached a settlement for $2.5 million dollars shortly before this case was scheduled to begin trial.

The best part of this entire process was handing Roy Jackson his settlement check. Mr. Jackson shed tears. The process and outcome had given him hope. Even though he had lost his career, he was now secure and knew that his future needs would be met.

We’re grateful for the trust Mr. Jackson placed in Heinrich Law.

If you have been struck by car and seriously injured, please call us. The consultation is free to you.