Virginia Lawyers Weekly//December 24, 2019
Virginia Lawyers Weekly//December 24, 2019//
Plaintiff’s husband, who was operating a vehicle in which plaintiff was a passenger, was traveling west on U.S. Route 58 in Mecklenburg County when he entered a cut-through in the median. He was intending to cross eastbound Route 58 and continue down Madison Street into Boydton. Without stopping in the cut-through, he pulled into Route 58 eastbound in front of a 32-ton concrete pump truck. The driver of the concrete pump truck attempted to brake and turn to avoid the vehicle but was unable to do so, resulting in a severe T-bone impact. Plaintiff had to be extricated and med-flighted to MCV for treatment of extensive injuries.
Prior to filing this lawsuit, plaintiff settled with her driver’s insurance company for policy limits of $50,000.
At trial, damages were undisputed and defendants called no expert witnesses. Plaintiff’s theory was that defendant driver, had he been paying closer attention, would have realized sooner plaintiff’s host vehicle was not going to stop and, therefore, could have taken evasive action to avoid the accident. Defendants focused on scene photographs showing substantial skid marks starting well before the intersection of the cut-through and Route 58, indicating the immediate application of brakes when plaintiff’s host vehicle entered Route 58. Two independent eyewitnesses, traveling behind defendant, testified defendant driver applied his brakes as soon as the host vehicle entered Route 58. Based on this evidence, defendants argued there was no distraction, no inattentive driver and the sole proximate cause of the accident was plaintiff’s host driver.
The jury deliberated for approximately two hours before returning a verdict in favor of defendants.
Type of action: Negligence – Trucking – Personal injury
Injuries alleged: Fractures of C7 and T1; liver lacerations; eleven rib fractures; pelvic fractures; facial fractures; mild aortic injury
Name of case: Lucia Young v William Bailes and Virginia Concrete Pumping, LLC
Court: Mecklenburg Circuit Court
Case no.: CL18-899
Tried before: Jury
Name of judge: Judge S. Anderson Nelson
Date resolved: Sept. 13, 2019
Special damages: $342,014.31 in past medical bills
Demand: $1,000,000 ad damnum
Verdict or settlement: Defense verdict
Attorneys for defendant: James M. Snyder, Brennan C. Morrissett, Barrett J. Enix and Megan N. Watson, Richmond
Plaintiff’s experts: Michel Aboutanos, MD; Paul Buckman, MD; Francisco Albuquerque, Jr., MD; Randall Suslick, MD; Marla R. Chandler-Glass