Thomas M. Buckley, a partner with Goldberg Segalla, obtained a defense verdict in North Carolina in a wrongful death action involving a motor vehicle accident. After a two week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict, finding no negligence on the part of either defendant. Tom’s clients were a manufacturer of storage buildings and its employee who was driving a truck pulling a trailer with a wide-load – a 12’ storage building. As wrongful death cases always are, it was an emotional and high stakes case.
The case turned on some interesting liability facts. The accident happened in the truck’s lane of travel, but plaintiff's experts did simulations and animations to try to demonstrate their theory that the truck had first been in the decedent’s lane, and that she had crossed into the defendant's lane to avoid him just as he corrected and crossed back into his own lane to avoid her. Tom argued successfully to exclude the animations from evidence, and the defense expert demonstrated clearly that the plaintiff simply came across the center line into the defendant's lane and ran into the truck and trailer. The case was further complicated by a negligence per se claim against the company defendant, based on alleged misplacement of the wide load banner, but Tom was able to obtain a directed verdict on that claim at the close of evidence.
The jury returned a defense verdict in just under two hours.