Colin Hackett Wins Favorable Verdict in Tractor-Trailer Suit

Newark Managing Partner Colin P. Hackett recently obtained a favorable defense verdict on behalf of a logistics client arising out of a New Jersey motor vehicle accident.

The plaintiff alleged that the driver of an eighteen-wheel tractor-trailer negligently operated his vehicle when he left his lane of travel and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing the plaintiff to lose control of her vehicle, hit a guardrail, be struck again by the tractor, and then hit another guardrail before coming to a rest.

The plaintiff’s vehicle was a total loss, and the plaintiff was transported unconscious from the accident scene to a hospital where she was diagnosed with a fractured left clavicle, fractured sternum, neck and back strain, and multiple bruises. She remained in the hospital for six days, during which time she underwent an open reduction internal fixation surgery for her clavicle, and upon release she underwent follow-up treatment that included physical therapy and pain management.

The plaintiff sued the defendant operator and owners of the tractor asserting damages for the aforementioned injuries. Furthermore, the plaintiff claimed damages for a 15-centimeter scar resulting from the clavicle surgery and asserted that she became addicted to OxyContin and later heroin as a result of her treatment.

At trial, we highlighted the plaintiff’s excellent surgery results and the limited impact that the fractures and scars have had on the plaintiff’s life. We also argued that the plaintiff’s boyfriend is a heroin addict and pointed to medical records documenting the plaintiff’s alcohol and marijuana use despite her denial of such use during her deposition and direct testimony.

After four days of trial and four hours of deliberation, the jury awarded a net award totaling five figures for pain and suffering and future medical costs. The award totaled less than six percent of the plaintiff’s settlement demand prior to and during trial.

New Jersey Partner Michael Trucillo handled the defense of the matter up to trial.

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