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May 27, 2008

Recent Allegheny County Verdicts

• Barlow v. Hamilton – Auto accidentDefendant slid on ice into intersection.Plaintiff was partially blinded by sun.Neck, back, and head injuries with $7,000 medical specials.Jury found both Plaintiff and Defendant negligent.Jury awarded $0.

• Diaz v. Bonin et. al.Defendant truck struck Plaintiff’s vehicle while changing lanes.Plaintiff claimed cervical herniation and carpel tunnel syndrome.Jury awarded $41,212 for past medical specials only.

• Eury v. EdelmanDefendant struck Plaintiff’s vehicle after failing to stop at red light.Plaintiff claimed “serious” back and back injuries.Plaintiff was a limited tort insured.Jury found fault, but no “serious injury”.Damages of $4,955 limited to economic loss only.

• Hunsinger v. Port Authority of Allegheny CountyDefendant struck blind pedestrian in cross walk.Defendant claimed Plaintiff walked into the bus.Plaintiff claimed wage loss of $10,000 and medicals of $50,000.Judge awarded directed verdictJury awarded $162,500 

What It Means to You

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania remains a relatively difficult venue for Plaintiffs, both for proving liability and damages. Nonetheless, the equities often create an exception to the rule, especially for trucks and larger vehicles. (i.e. don’t run over a blind person and then blame them for not seeing the bus). Additionally, local procedures, such as trial judge assignment on the day of trial creates another variable, which can expose the Defendant to risk of drawing a Plaintiff friendly Judge on very little notice.


Pittsburgh Legal Journal