ClickCease Vehicular Negligence | Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger

Vehicular Negligence

In Pedestrian v. Trucking Broker (Court and Case number confidential) Michael A. Kelly, Richard Schoenberger and Conor M. Kelly recovered $6,500,000 on behalf of a 26-year-old man who sustained serious head injuries when struck by a falling traffic signal pole. The injury occurred when the rear of a 48-foot tractor-trailer rig drove up onto the sidewalk during a right turn, shearing the pole off at its base. The plaintiff was standing on the corner waiting to cross the street. Suit was brought against multiple defendants including the labor broker and trucking company responsible for the trucks operation, and the public entity and construction firms responsible for construction intersection. Post-accident investigation revealed that the traffic light had been struck by right turning vehicles on prior occasions. The trucking operator defendants argued that traffic light was too close to the street and that the intersection constituted a dangerous condition of public property. Throughout discovery the truck driver refused to answer questions about the accident by invoking the Fifth Amendment. The issue of his immunity claim was the subject of multiple law and motion hearings. After the case had been called for trial during the motion in limine process, the Walkup team attorneys worked with the local District Attorney and Attorney General to secure immunity for the driver from criminal prosecution. The trial judge thereafter granted a motion conveying immunity, and compelled the driver to give deposition testimony. In that deposition (the third he had given), the driver admitted he was talking on a handheld cell phone at the time of the crash. The matter resolved shortly thereafter prior to jury selection. The faultless plaintiff sustained multiple facial fractures and a traumatic brain injury. The settlement included contributions from seven different parties including the public entity.