Plaintiff Folds Before Indiana Jury Renders Verdict in Trucking Case
February 15, 2011
After three days of a jury trial in Indianapolis, Indiana, Theodore M Schaer, Esq. extracted a settlement of $125,000 from the attorney for the Plaintiff despite a One Million Dollar settlement demand at mediation and a “rock solid” demand of $500,000 at the commencement of trial. Schaer represented a motor carrier and its driver who failed to stop at a red light and collided with the Plaintiff, an 81 year old man. Plaintiff suffered a fractured clavicle, 3 fractured ribs and was hospitalized for nine days following the accident. Approximately 2 months after the accident, Plaintiff first complained of elbow and wrist symptoms which required surgery. Pre-Trial Motions in Limine were successful in dismissing negligent hiring and retention claims against the motor carrier. Evidence of the driver’s past motor vehicle record was also suppressed in pre-trial motion practice. While the Defense did not contest that the driver’s negligence was a factor in causing the accident, Schaer argued and presented fact witnesses who established that Plaintiff failed to look before entering the intersection. Cross-examination of the Plaintiff’s medical experts raised serious questions in the minds of the jury as to whether the elbow and wrist surgery were causally related to the accident. Plaintiff’s counsel agreed to accept the offer of settlement prior to jury deliberations.