Jane Higgins and Sarah Noble achieved a defense verdict in Laurel Circuit Court in a personal injury action brought against their client, a London car dealership. The Plaintiff claimed to have sustained a shoulder injury after falling from the bed of a pick-up truck on the dealership lot as he climbed over the tailgate after inspecting the fifth wheel of the vehicle. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged the tailgate had been improperly or partially latched by a dealership employee and spontaneously opened as he crossed over it, throwing him 15 feet onto the ground, where he landed on his shoulder. The Plaintiff claimed that the dealership was negligent for its alleged creation of the hazardous condition and/or its failure to warn the Plaintiff of that condition. No testimony was offered providing that a dealership employee improperly closed the tailgate and testimony from multiple dealership employees confirm that a partially latched tailgate is, at best, an expected condition(if not impossible). The jury deliberated for less than one hour before returning a verdict in favor of the dealership.
The subject accident occurred on I-65, after the co-defendant swerved into our client’s lane and was struck in the rear by our client’s truck. The co-defendant then struck the Plaintiff, a commercial truck-driver, who was changing a tire on the shoulder. The Plaintiff claimed damages in excess of $1,000,000 for mild traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and herniated discs in his lower-back. On the second day of trial, but before the Plaintiff closed his case, Bill and Jane successfully moved for a directed verdict, arguing that the Plaintiff had failed to prove, and could not prove, any breach of duty against our client.
This was Bill’s 4th career directed verdict.
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