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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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