Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WALK THIS WAY! Defense Verdict in Pedestrian vs. Van Accident

Personal Injury
Clarence Crowe, my happy and vindicated Client
69 years young, Clarence Crowe and I sit on a bench (right) waiting for his family members to pick him up at the Clinton County Courthouse after a victorious day.  Almost three years ago, on November 12, 2010, at the Marathon Station in Mulberry, Indiana, Clarence purchased a fountain Coke to take home. He was driving a 2008 Dodge minivan.  As he left the station, Edgar Baker, another gas station patron, was walking through the parking lot, directly into the path of Clarence's van.  Oddly enough, Mr. Baker was also going to the gas station to get a fountain Coke to take home to his wife and proceeded to walk diagonally, right through the parking lot of the gas station.  As Clarence backed up, after looking in both side-view mirrors, his rear-view, the back-up camera, and over his shoulder, Baker walked right into the path of Clarence's van as he backed-up. Clarence, admittedly never saw Baker, and Baker hit the back of Clarence's van, causing injury to Baker's left knee.

Personal Injury
Satellite view of Marathon in Mulberry, IN
Baker testified he was always vigilant, while walking through the parking lot of the gas station, looking around and talking or waving to those he knew. He also indicated he would never, not even for a second, look down.  However, he never saw Clarence's van until it was too late to move out of the way.  Further, an independent witness, a 15-year-old kid (12 at the time of the accident) testified he was across the street and saw Baker looking down while he hit the back of Clarence's van.  The kid had done a few odd jobs for Clarence but had no personal ties to him. 

Despite heavy exhorting by Mr. Rivera, of Ken Nunn Law, to the jury, to "do the right thing" and to send Clarence a message that he was "wrong"; the down to earth, common sense-based, Clinton County jurors saw through the charade and listened to the cold hard facts,  interpreting them in conjunction with the law in Indiana.  The law does not say, when you are a pedestrian, you get to walk wherever you want or do whatever you want and not pay attention. Rather, a pedestrian has a duty of care. That duty of care is the same as that of a driver, to act with reasonable care.  While Clarence and I expressed our sympathy for Mr. Baker's left knee injury, we maintained that Baker had the majority of fault in this accident.  The jury agreed, assigning 75% fault to Baker.  Baker made no recovery, and Clarence was able to go home and get a good night's sleep with no more concerns of a verdict hanging over his head.