Morrison Mahoney Partner Ralph Sullivan recently prevailed in a five-day jury trial at the Middlesex Superior Court. The plaintiff was a 35-year-old woman who was riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle which “T‑boned” a vehicle which was operated by our client in rush hour. Just prior to the collision, our client had become stuck in a large intersection because a car in front of her stopped in traffic to make an illegal left-hand turn. Our client had no choice but to proceed out of the intersection against a red light.
At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was recovering from a surgery which she was being driven to St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, for a follow up visit with her surgeon. The parties exchanged papers at the scene of the low speed “fender bender” type accident. No injuries were noted. The plaintiff passenger proceeded to the follow up visit with her surgeon, but made no mention to him of the auto accident. She did not seek treatment for her alleged back and neck injuries until nine hours later, when she returned to the hospital.
The plaintiff claimed that she was confined to her home for twelve weeks following the accident. However, during which time period she purchased a new home on Cape Cod, started a new construction business, and took an eight hour examination to become a licensed construction supervisor. The plaintiff alleged that she suffered a loss of earning capacity in the amount $336,000 (over the course of four years) as the result of having to turn down the offer of promotion from her employer, a Watertown construction company.
We called the bookkeeper of the plaintiff’s employer to verify the plaintiff’s actual earnings, which contradicted the amounts and dates which were listed on a (false) “Wage and Salary Verification Form” which was signed the plaintiff’s boss. Accordingly, we were able to show that the plaintiff exaggerated the amount of her average weekly wage and misstated the periods of time that she had been employed by her employer.
Plaintiff’s counsel attempted to show that our client was negligent because she proceeded forward with the red light, after having become trapped in a large intersection. The plaintiff testified that the driver of her vehicle, a close friend, was not at all negligent for having caused the accident.
In his closing, plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $336,000 to his client for lost earnings, plus pain and suffering. After about an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of both defendant operators. Accordingly, the plaintiff passenger failed to recover any amount of money, because neither driver was found to be at fault.
Appreciation to Legal Assistant, Donna Achille, for having spent two days on the phone locating a Korean language interpreter to translate the testimony of the bookkeeper, and to Associate, Jessie Savino, who assisted in opposing the plaintiff’s numerous motions in limine.