November 2021: Defense verdict for Grice in Mecklenburg County
Drew Grice assisted his clients in obtaining a defense verdict for his client in a contested liability case in Mecklenburg County. The plaintiff alleged that Mr. Grice’s client negligently changed lanes as he approached a busy intersection and caused a five car collision. The defendant, who was traveling in the left turn lane, insisted that another vehicle turned in front of him and suddenly slammed on brakes causing the defendant to instinctively swerve to the right to avoid rear ending the vehicle. When the defendant swerved to the right, he started a chain collision that involved several other vehicles including the plaintiff who was stopped for a red light in the straight lane.
The plaintiff received treatment several times in the emergency department as well as physical therapy for soft tissue injuries.
The trial court granted Mr. Grice’s Motion for Partial Directed Verdict as to the agency claims lodged against the defendant’s sister who owned the vehicle. However, the court failed to instruct the jury on the doctrine of sudden emergency. The plaintiff asked the jury for an amount in excess of $200,000.00, and the jury returned a verdict finding that the defendant had not been negligent in the operation of his vehicle.
December 2021: Jury awards $10,000 less than pre-trial offer in Johnston County Case
A Johnston County awarded the plaintiff $10,000.00 in a “damages only” case Drew Grice recently tried in Johnston County. Following the mediation in the case, the defense had offered the plaintiff $20,000.00 to resolve the case that involved allegations of chronic back pain.
The defendant pulled from a stop sign into the path of the vehicle in which the plaintiff was riding as a passenger. At trial, the defense admitted that the accident was the defendant’s fault. However, competing experts disagreed as to the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff treated for several months due to his complaints of neck and back pain. His injuries appeared to have resolved within a period of two months. Several weeks after being released from physical therapy, the plaintiff returned to his orthopedic surgeon with new complaints involving pain radiating down his arms. Thereafter, the plaintiff obtained additional physical therapy, MRI studies, and injection therapy.
Mr. Grice argued that only the first two months of treatment were caused by the accident. The jury appeared to agree and awarded the plaintiff $10,000.00 in damages. The plaintiff had asked the jury for an amount in excess of $100,000.00.
The plaintiff had also sued the defendant’s father for negligently entrusting the vehicle to the defendant. The allegations of negligent entrustment were premised on the fact that the defendant had obtained three speeding tickets in the six year period preceding the accident. The defendant had borrowed his father’s car to take his wife to visit her family. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant’s father finding that he had not negligently entrusted the vehicle to his son.
April 2022 Defense Verdict for Grice in Wilson County
Drew Grice obtained a defense verdict for his client in a contested liability case in Wilson County. The plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her boyfriend. Her boyfriend attempted to make a left turn into a convenience store and turned into the path of the defendant. The plaintiff originally sued both her boyfriend and Mr. Grice’s client. However, the Court granted the boyfriend’s Motion for Summary Judgment based upon her deposition testimony that her boyfriend did not do anything wrong in the operation of his vehicle. The plaintiff supported her boyfriend’s contention that the defendant was operating her vehicle at night without head lights.
After twenty minutes of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict finding no fault on the part of Mr. Grice’s client. The investigating officer testified that neither the plaintiff not her boyfriend reported to him their contention that the defendant did not have her head lights illuminated. The evidence revealed that the defendant had driven more than three miles prior to the accident at a time when all parties agreed that head lights were required to see. The defendant’s vehicle was also equipped with automatic lights, and the jury ultimately concluded that the defendant was not negligent in the operation of her vehicle.