Jury Sets Emotions Aside and Finds in Favor of WACHP Client
Following a two day trial ending on June 30, 2016, a Fulton County jury returned with a verdict vindicating the defendant in a case involving the death of the plaintiff’s husband, who was a passenger in a car which the plaintiff was driving. Although the plaintiff had minor bodily injuries, her primary claim was related to her alleged emotional distress from witnessing her husband’s death. Prior to trial, the defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to the emotion distress claim was denied, so the parties were forced to trial. The defendant did not dispute causing the initial fender bender type accident with the plaintiff’s vehicle. However, the defendant denied that the initial impact caused the plaintiff’s vehicle to accelerate into a utility pole, overturn, and kill the plaintiff’s husband. Following almost two hours of emotionally charged deliberations, the jury returned with a defense verdict and specifically found that the plaintiff’s responsibility for the second impact matched or exceeded that of the defendant. Prior to trial, and again during trial, the defendant’s insurance company made a settlement offer in the amount of $40,000. Months before trial, the plaintiff formally withdrew all settlement demands. Prior to the withdrawal, the plaintiff’s formal settlement demand was for the policy limits of $100,000.