Type of action: Automobile accident
Injuries alleged: Multiple contusions and rib fractures
Name of case: Wright v. Doe
Court: Newport News Circuit Court
Case no.: L09-1272T
Tried before: Jury
Judge: C. Peter Tench
Date: Feb. 22, 2011
Demand: First demand – $300,000 (policy limits); last demand – $195,000 (pretrial offer)
Verdict or settlement: Verdict
Attorney for plaintiff: George T. Albiston, Norfolk
Attorney for defendant: Kim Imbrogno, Virginia Beach
Insurance carrier: GEICO
Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her husband. They were following a tractor- trailer on a rainy morning on U.S. 58 exiting the City of Suffolk in a 60 mph zone. A vehicle driven by Jane Doe had pulled out and was stopped in the right lane of the highway with no lights or turn signal.
The tractor-trailer moved abruptly from the right lane to the left lane to avoid the stopped vehicle.
Evidence from other witnesses was that plaintiff’s husband was following the tractor-trailer at a safe distance. When the tractor trailer moved out of the way, the plaintiff’s husband was able to determine there was a stopped vehicle in his path. He applied the brakes and swerved to the right as the truck had slowed blocking the left hand lane.
When he swerved to the right, he went onto the shoulder, which was wet and soft. After avoiding the stopped vehicle, he attempted to return to the highway, and his vehicle crossed in front of the tractor-trailer and caused it to strike his vehicle and drive both vehicles down into the center grassy median.