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Ron Gault Obtained Defense Verdict for Client in Disputed Liability Accident

Ron Gault obtained a defense verdict for his client in a disputed liability accident. The plaintiff testified that she and the vehicle in front of her were waiting to turn left. When their light turned yellow, the vehicle in front of the plaintiff turned. The plaintiff claimed that the tortfeasor, who was coming from the opposite direction, sped up to beat the light, swerved around the vehicle in front of her, and hit her head-on as she sat waiting to turn. The tortfeasor disputed that and said the vehicle in front of the plaintiff safely completed its turn, and the plaintiff turned behind it into the tortfeasor’s path. The driver of the vehicle in front of the plaintiff did not stop, and that driver’s identity is unknown. The plaintiff sued the tortfeasor, who was represented by other counsel. She also sued Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Company (MetLife) under two theories—an underinsured motorist claim for the tortfeasor’s conduct and an uninsured motorist claim for the actions of the phantom vehicle in front of her. Because the case included an uninsured motorist claim, MetLife was not able to opt out and participated in the trial. The defendants argued that the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence for turning in front of the tortfeasor. The plaintiff sustained a broken talus bone in her ankle, which required surgery. Her medical bills totaled $104,562.85. Her bills were paid by BCBS, which had a subrogation claim of $38,162.43. The case was tried over four days. The jury returned a verdict for the defendants.

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