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Trey Hawthorne obtained a defense verdict for his client

Trey Hawthorne obtained a defense verdict for his client, the tortfeasor, in a non-disputed liability accident. There was an issue regarding the Plaintiff’s vehicle, which had been purchased for $38,000, but had been used as a demo at a dealership and had less than 8,000 miles on it. The accident happened the day after the plaintiff purchased the vehicle. The damage to the vehicle included damage to the left side, a dent in the floor pan that had to be pulled to repair, warped rear axles and a warped rear wheel. It did not include any frame damage. The repair costs were $11,524.19, and were paid by the defendant’s insurer. The plaintiff agreed the repairs were completed to his satisfaction and that the vehicle was returned to its pre-accident appearance and condition. However, he claimed that it suffered an “inherent diminished value,” and that he was damaged as a result. The plaintiff claimed the diminished value was $12,500, while the owner of the dealership testified the lost value was between $7,000 and $7,500. The defense argued the owner had an insufficient basis on which to base his opinion, as it was based only on a review of the repair estimate and some photographs. A Carfax report that indicated the vehicle had suffered “Major Damage” was successfully kept out of evidence by the defense. After a two day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict.

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