Driver crossing backed-up street involved in accident

January 28, 2015

Trial Reports: Reports on recent Indiana cases from the lawyers and judges involved. Submit a trial report at www.theindianalawyer.com/submit-trial-reports

Driver crossing backed-up street involved in accident

Action: Personal injury
Name of Case: Kristie Malnar v. Ruth Black
Court Case Number: 49D11-1104-CT-016248
Injuries: Cervical/lumber strain and annular tear of L4-5 disc
Court Date: 1/13/15 - 1/14/15
Trial Type: Jury trial
Judge: Hon. John F. Hanley, Marion Superior Court 11
Disposition: Net verdict to plaintiff in the amount of $162,500
Plaintiff Attorney: Nathan D. Foushee - Ken Nunn Law Firm
Defendant Attorney: Patricia Woodring - Farmers Insurance Exchange staff counsel
Insurance: Farmers Insurance

Case Information: On April 13, 2010, Kristie Malnar was traveling eastbound on Washington Street in Indianapolis. Defendant Ruth Black was traveling westbound and wanted to turn left, across the oncoming eastbound traffic. A motorist stopped in backed-up traffic and waived Black through. As Black crossed the oncoming eastbound lanes, she was T-boned by Malnar. Plaintiff maintained that Black had failed to maintain a proper lookout, failed to yield the right of way, and pulled out directly in front of her oncoming car. Defense argued that even though she was not in the construction zone, Malnar knew that it was approaching, and should not have been traveling in the lane she was in or at the speed she was. Black argued that Malnar should have seen her and avoided the wreck. The impact was substantial. Malnar suffered neck and back pain and bruising. She was evaluated in the emergency room and began a course of treatment consisting of physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, pain management and follow-up with her family physicians. She was referred to a spine specialist, and MRIs showed an annular tear of the L4-5 disc. Malnar received two lumbar epidural steroid injections and numerous trigger point injections. Malnar also presented to the emergency room on multiple occasions, where she received pain injections. Malnar’s medical bills totaled over $33,000. Plaintiff’s expert physician testified that Malnar suffered neck and back strains and the annular tear of the L4-5 disc as a result of the wreck, and that Malnar had a permanent impairment. Defendant’s expert physician testified that the only injury Malnar suffered in the wreck was a lumbar strain. The jury found damages of $250,000 and found defendant 65 percent at fault and plaintiff 35 percent at fault, resulting in a net verdict to the plaintiff in the amount of $162,500.

Submitting Attorney: Nathan D. Foushee•