West Palm Beach Partner, Linda Sweeting, and Associate, Carly Mcallister, obtained a complete defense verdict in a jury trial in St. Lucie County. The trial was on liability in two cases consolidated for trial. The cases involved a trucking accident in which both the driver and passenger of a Nissan Altima allegedly sustained injuries, had surgery, and sued a commercial plumbing company and its employee driver. Plaintiff’s vehicle made a u-turn in a designated u-turn lane of a divided 4-lane roadway. Defendant’s utility truck was northbound and struck Plaintiff’s vehicle. Based upon the testimony of an independent witness who stated Defendant driver passed him in the northbound lanes traveling at an estimated speed of between 70-85 mph, Plaintiffs argued that but for Defendant driver’s speed the accident would not have occurred. During the crash, Plaintiff’s vehicle was pushed to the outside north bound lane and up onto of its 2 wheels, and Defendant’s vehicle crossed over the northbound lanes, over the curb, through landscaping, into trees, and crashed into a house leaving a hole in the structure.
CSK argued that Plaintiffs both had a clear view of the roadway and should have yielded – but for their inattentive and carelessness in failing to yield, the accident would not have occurred. The jury heard testimony of the parties, the investigating officer, the independent witness, and viewed a surveillance video of the accident secured by police from a nearby business. The jury deliberated for less than an hour and returned a complete defense verdict. The defense also have an expired Proposal for Settlement in each case, allowing for the award of fees and costs. This was the first trial for Carly – who has been practicing for about a year.
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