NEWS & EVENTS
Wilcox Achieves Arbitration Victory
John Wilcox recently achieved a significant victory for his client, a state transportation agency, in a case involving a motor vehicle accident between a pickup truck and a motorcycle.
The plaintiff was driving a 2005 Harley Davidson southbound on a rural highway south of Oak Grove, MO when it collided with a pickup truck that was entering the highway from a private driveway. As a result, the plaintiff suffered serious injuries including multiple fractures, abrasions, and contusions. Thereafter, he filed suit against the State, alleging that it was negligent in the maintenance of the accident location due to the presence of the untrimmed vegetation that limited the pickup truck driver’s sight distance, which caused the accident. The motorcyclist’s wife also sought loss of consortium damages as a result of her husband’s injuries. Plaintiff’s claimed special damages were in excess of $150,000.
Plaintiff’s liability expert opined that at the accident site, the driver of the pickup should have had nearly 500 ft. of available sight distance when he looked north, to his left, before he entered the highway from the private drive. Plaintiff’s expert further concluded that the pickup truck driver had only 234 ft. of available sight distance and that this lack of sight distance caused the accident.
Based primarily on the cross examination of plaintiff, as well as the testimony of its expert engineer, Dysart Taylor’s client was able to establish that when the driver of the pickup decided to exit the private driveway and enter the highway, the motorcycle was within the 234 ft. of available sight distance. In other words, the motorcycle was within an area in which the pickup truck driver could and should have seen it. The three member arbitration panel agreed and unanimously found that the alleged negligent maintenance of the highway was not the proximate cause of the accident, finding in favor of Dysart Taylor’s client on all counts.