Morrison Mahoney Associate Erin Hoefler recently obtained a defense verdict in a motor-vehicle case following a jury trial in New Hampshire Superior Court. 

The plaintiff claimed that (1) he was traveling in the right-lane of a rural road, (2) our insured was traveling in the left-lane, (3) they both were approaching a point in the road where the right lane merged into the left, (4) at the point of merger, the plaintiff observed no vehicles to his left, (5) he felt a bump, (6) he suddenly observed our insured’s vehicle facing sideways in front of his own, (7) he slammed his brakes, and (8) he saw our insured’s vehicle come to rest against the passenger-side of his vehicle and facing the opposition direction of his own.  Our insured largely agreed with the plaintiff’s rendition of relevant events, although she alleged that the plaintiff merged into her vehicle, not vice versa.  An elderly witness at least 100 yards away from the point of contact and with a highly-questionable memory supported the plaintiff’s rendition of events. 

As a result of the incident, the plaintiff allegedly suffered a right-shoulder tear and bulging discs potentially because he thrust out his right arm to protect his 80 lb. dog, which was in the front-passenger seat of his vehicle. The jury returned a defense verdict in 1.5 hours.