Automobile-bicycle collision

October 13, 2010
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Trial Report

Donald E. Brier v. Irene Wegner

Marion Circuit Court No. 49C01-0704-CT-0013996

Injuries: Mild traumatic brain injury; partial rotator cuff tear of left shoulder

Date: May 17-21, 2010

Judge or Jury Trial: Jury trial

Judge: Hon. Louis F. Rosenberg

Disposition: Verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $1,395,545, which was reduced by an assignment of 30 percent comparative fault to the plaintiff; judgment entered by court for $976,881

Plaintiff Attorneys: Thomas C. Doehrman and Daniel Buba, Doehrman Chamberlain, Indianapolis

Defendant Attorney: Jeff Crabill, State Farm Litigation Counsel, Indianapolis

Insurance: Underlying coverage of $250,000 was with State Farm. Plaintiff had UIM coverage of $1.5 million with Nationwide.

Case Information: Plaintiff was riding his bicycle on 64th Street in the Broad Ripple neighborhood of Indianapolis on July 5, 2005, when the defendant backed her SUV directly into his path. Upon impact, the plaintiff busted out the rear window of the SUV. He was taken from the scene by ambulance and was diagnosed at the ER with a left shoulder injury and a concussion. He was released the same evening from the ER.
Thereafter, plaintiff treated continuously for the effects of a mild traumatic brain injury and has been unable to continue employment as an attorney. He also underwent a successful surgery for his rotator cuff tear.

The past medical expenses were $55,545, and future medical expenses were claimed to be $115,000. Plaintiff also claimed lost wages both past and future of $750,000.

The defendant’s accident reconstructionist testified that the plaintiff had ample time to avoid the defendant’s vehicle and that the collision occurred because he was not paying attention to the roadway ahead of him. This testimony was in direct conflict with the testimony of two eyewitnesses to the collision who testified that there was nothing the plaintiff could do to avoid colliding with the SUV.

The defendant’s expert damage witnesses claimed that plaintiff’s brain injury was very mild and completely healed within a few months of the collision. It was the defendant’s contention that the plaintiff’s ongoing problems were not related to any injury sustained in the collision. The defendant disputed the future medical expenses and future wages that the plaintiff was claiming.

The plaintiff’s expert witnesses included a neurologist, neuropsychologist, and neuroradiologist. The defendant’s experts included a neuropsychologist, neuroradiologist, and an accident reconstructionist.

After five days of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $1,395,545. This amount was reduced by an assignment of 30 percent comparative fault to the plaintiff and judgment was entered by the court for $976,881.•
– Thomas C. Doehrman



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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues