Tragic Accident but Defense Verdict
March 2017, Scott Macdonald obtained a defense verdict for our client in San Bernardino after a hotly contested two-month trial.
Defendant was driving home from a church retreat with three passengers. She was in a rural desert area with a two-lane road. Defendant encountered a vehicle which had come across the center line and into her lane. Defendant took evasive action which forced her onto the right shoulder. She then lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle ended up going into the desert. It rolled multiple times. The driver’s side rear-passenger was ejected and sustained serious injuries.
Plaintiff sued our client alleging that she was negligent in operating her vehicle. Plaintiff also sued the vehicle manufacturer and seatbelt manufacturer for an allegedly defective seatbelt. The vehicle manufacturer and seatbelt manufacturer attempted to defend the case, in part, by alleging that our client was at fault for the accident. This included an expensive attempted reconstruction of the accident and an expert witness on driving behavior.
There was a lot at stake for our client. The policy limits were tendered immediately, and plaintiff was not inclined to accept. The damages were significant. Plaintiff had sustained a significant brain injury which left her totally incapacitated and in need of round the clock care.
After two months the jury deliberated and found that our client had done the best she could given the situation that she found herself faced with. They jury returned a unanimous defense verdict.