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. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.