Record v. Reese, et. al.

Mary Carter Agreement Yields Desired Result.

In this case tried in December 2017, in Sacramento Superior Court, on behalf of his clients, Rick Jacobson entered into a sliding scale (“Mary Carter”) agreement with Plaintiffs in which he agreed to remain in the case to defend his clients, while Plaintiffs agreed not to execute on any judgment in excess of his clients’ insurance limits. Additionally, to the extent the Plaintiffs received a judgement above certain levels against the non-settling defendants, the amount of the settlement Jacobson’s clients entered into would be largely refunded. The trial stemmed from two separate accidents in 2012. In the first, Plaintiff alleged he hurt his back when defendants’ garage door broke and struck him squarely. In the second accident, ten days later, Jacobson’s client (while intoxicated) caused a rear end chain reaction collision in which Plaintiff claimed he was injured. The case presented an interesting issue for the trial judge to resolve – whether to disclose the settlement agreement to the jury during trial. After carefully considering the law and factual underpinnings of the case, the Court agreed with Jacobson that the settlement would not be disclosed. Jacobson argued that the cause of Plaintiff’s injuries and two resulting spine surgeries was the first accident. Answering several Special verdict questions, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff for $2.861 million. By a vote of 10-2 it also found Jacobson’s clients only 2% liable. The verdict, and resulting judgment meant that Jacobson’s clients received the maximum refund on their settlement. Non-settling defendants’ Motion for New Trial was denied. The case is currently on appeal.