A Marion County jury's award of $20 million in a personal injury case is notable enough, but it's really impressive when you consider the opening statement and closing argument on damages were delivered by an attorney with a law license issued five weeks earlier.
The plaintiffs in the case against Indianapolis Power & Light Co. were Wayne and Amy Simmons. Wayne Simmons, 46, worked as a union carpenter until March 26, 2014, when he was shocked by thousands of volts of electricity on IPL's Petersburg Power Plant, according to the Indiana Lawyer. He has been unable to work and under medical care and pain management since that time. In mediation, attorneys for IPL had offered $50,000.
Attorneys for Yosha Cook & Tisch represented the couple in the October trial, which was held with multiple accommodations for COVID-19 risks. Brandon Yosha, who joined the Indiana Bar on Sept. 21, told the publication he spent many late nights rehearsing and preparing for the trial with Bryan Tisch. He also formed a personal connection with the plaintiffs.
The lawyers said masks made it difficult to read jurors' expressions, although Yosha, who attended Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, said he learned to better read expressions as the trial progressed.
After the two-week trial, the jury award was $20 million, adjusted for fault assigned to other parties for a net award of $12.2 million.