Defense Verdict – Motorcycle and Truck Collision with Claims of Permanent Disability

Attorneys David Hassett and Scott Ober obtained a defense verdict in Meriden Superior Court in an action arising from a collision between a motorcyclist and a pick-up truck occurring in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Shortly before the accident, the defendant-insured pick-up truck driver passed through the 4-way intersection of Route 150 and Route 68. After passing through the intersection and proceeding on Route 150 for a short distance, the defendant-insured stopped to take a left turn into a commercial parking lot. A line of vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction on Route 150 was stopped and backed up from the intersection with Route 68.

After stopping for short time, a white vehicle in the line of traffic stopped and waved the defendant-insured to proceed in front of it. A dump truck with a trailer was stopped behind the white vehicle and there were many other vehicles backed up behind the dump truck. As the defendant-insured made his left turn and unbeknownst to the defendant-insured, the plaintiff, who was traveling on his motorcycle behind the dump truck, proceeded to pass the dump truck and the stopped white vehicle on the right side toward the intersection. As the plaintiff passed the white vehicle, he collided with the right side of the defendant-insured’s truck.

The plaintiff alleged he sustained extensive injuries as a result of the accident, including C7 and L2 transverse process fractures; multiple orbital, nasal, jaw and cheekbone fractures; left clavicular fracture; femur/hip fracture, left shoulder injuries requiring surgery, and mandibular abscess requiring surgery, as well as neck and back injuries. The plaintiff submitted medical bills in excess of $129,000.

Plaintiff’s medical expert offered evidence to support the plaintiff’s claims that he was permanently and totally disabled as a result of the injuries he sustained in the subject accident. The plaintiff’s vocational rehabilitation expert testified at trial that the plaintiff was “unemployable” as a direct result of his injuries. Plaintiff’s expert economist further testified that plaintiff incurred a lost earning capacity between $700,000-$900,000.

The plaintiff’s settlement demand prior to trial was $1.25 million dollars.

Plaintiff’s expert accident reconstructionist testified that the road was wide enough to accommodate two vehicles. Defense counsel successfully argued a motion in limine to exclude plaintiff’s expert from opining that the defendant’s turn was unsafe and that the defendant failed to keep a proper lookout. Attorneys Hassett and Ober argued that the defendant was not negligent and was not responsible for the accident. Further, defense counsel argued that the plaintiff had improperly passed stopped traffic on the right at the time of the accident.

Although the defense focused mainly on liability issues, defense counsel further argued that any alleged permanent disability was the result of plaintiff’s pre-existing neck and back injuries and not the injuries sustained in the subject accident.