Rear-End Case

Verdict: $200,000 against both defendants.

Judge: Paul A. Matia

Date of Verdict: 2/12/98

Plaintiff's Attorney(s): Richard C. Lombardi, Ravenna

Defendants Attorney(s): Wayne J. Belock, Cleveland

Facts:

Plaintiff truck driver was stopped in his tractor-trailer in construction traffic on 1-71 in Medina County. A flatbed truck was stopped behind plaintiff. Defendant Day was operating a truck for Defendant Beelman Truck Company, traveling in the same direction. He rear-ended the flatbed truck, forcing it into plaintiffs tractor-trailer.

Plaintiff alleged that defendant driver was negligent in failing to stop within an assured clear distance ahead, and that he suffered permanent soft tissue neck and back injuries as a direct result of the collision.

Defendants did not admit liability, but did not seriously contest it. Defendant company contended that defendant driver was an independent contractor and, therefore, they were not responsible for defendant drivers actions. Defendant driver contended that plaintiff suffered non-disabling soft tissue injuries and that plaintiffs injuries had fully resolved, allowing him to return to work.

Plaintiff Personal Data:

Plaintiff was a 45 year old married white male who was employed as a truck driver.

Alleged Injury:

Permanent soft tissue neck and back injuries. Plaintiff claimed approximately $10,000 in past medical specials, $20,000 in future medical specials, $40,000 in past lost income and $219,000 in future lost income.

Jury Deliberations: 3.5 hours

Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $120,000 Last Offer: $20,000

Insurance Carrier: Calvert Ins.

Expert Witnesses:

Plaintiff:
  • Bernard Smith, D.O. - Osteopath - 5tow OH
  • Joseph 5poonster, M.S.V.E. - Vocational Rehabilitation - Akron OH

Defendant:

  • Donald C. Mann, M.D. - Neurologist - Cleveland OH
  • Paul C. Martin, M.D. - Occupational Methcine - 5olon OH
  • John W. Cunningham, M.D. - Occupational Medicine - Columbus OH

Case Caption: Harry Ritenour v. Harold Day & Beelman Truck Co

Case Number: 96-CV-2691

Editors Note: Case has been appealed.

Telephone: 330-577-8979

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