Car Crash – $125,000

Location: Fluvanna
Verdict: $125,000

The plaintiff, a 56-year-old man from Fluvanna County who works as a propane delivery driver for Tiger Fuel Company, was driving home from work on August 19, 2014, traveling southbound on South Boston Road, approaching its intersection with Slice Road. The intersection was controlled by a stoplight. He had a solid green light and proceeded through the intersection. The defendant, a 16-year-old high school student, was traveling northbound on South Boston Road, made a left turn onto Slice Road, and impacted the plaintiff. The defendant claimed she had a green arrow. Following an investigation, the responding officer issued the plaintiff a ticket for reckless driving. Per the officer, three witnesses at the scene reported the plaintiff was traveling 55 to 60 mph prior to impact in a 45 mph zone.

At trial, an eyewitness testified for the plaintiff that he did not see the color of the lights controlling the traffic on South Boston Road, but that he saw the defendant approach the intersection and begin her left turn without stopping.  The traffic engineer who designed the signals at the intersection testified that the left turn arrow is activated by a sensor, such that a vehicle has to stop at the intersection and be detected before receiving a green arrow.  The defense presented the deposition testimony of two eyewitnesses, one of whom was the defendant’s passenger who generally supported the defendant’s account of the collision and also stated that the plaintiff was speeding (approximately 55-60 mph in a 45 mph zone).

The plaintiff suffered a complete patellar tendon rupture and underwent surgical repair.  His past medical expenses were $7,351.56.  The plaintiff missed three weeks of work for lost earnings of $3,444.00.  The plaintiff’s doctor testified that the plaintiff would develop post-traumatic arthritis and require various future treatments, up to and including a total knee replacement, which would total $77,300.00.  Testimony from the plaintiff’s wife and supervisor at Tiger fuel supported his damages. Dr. William Andrews testified for the defense; Dr. Andrews conceded the past treatment and expenses but contested all future treatment based on a firm opinion that post-traumatic arthritis was not a possible future outcome of the plaintiff’s knee injury.

After entering an intersection on a green light and suffering serious leg injuries, the plaintiff faced a reckless driving ticket and a denial from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. His friend referred him to Allen & Allen knowing if the case needed to be tried we would give the case our all.

John Cattano defended for the liability carrier, USAA and Anna Gillespie defended for the UIM carrier, State Farm.  No offers were ever made. Despite the debate over future surgery and testimony from Dr. Andrews, the jury ultimately returned a verdict for $125,000!