Wright & Greenhill shareholder, Catherine E. Marsolan, recently secured a defense verdict for her client who was deemed to bear a significantly low degree of liability from an accident in which the client struck another vehicle while merging into a turn lane.
The lawsuit arose from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on August 12, 2019, in Buda, Hays County, Texas. According to the police report, Defendant was exiting from a business driveway turning left onto a 3-lane road. A non-party motorist waiting in traffic stopped and motioned to Defendant to pass in front of his vehicle and effect her turn. Defendant proceeded across the lanes of traffic and attempted to merge into the center turn lane. When Defendant attempted to merge into the turn lane, she did not see Plaintiff proceeding into the same lane. Complicating matters for the defense, the investigating officer noted that Plaintiff could not avoid the accident given the limited sight due to multiple vehicles in the area and the actions by Defendant.
At trial, Plaintiff’s counsel argued that Defendant’s failure to yield right of way was the sole and proximate cause of the collision and that this act was an act of negligence. Plaintiff claimed soft tissue injuries to neck and back, having sought treatment at the ER and subsequently at a chiropractor and physical therapist.
Catherine argued that Plaintiff had been using the center turn lane as a travel lane to bypass traffic stopped for the light ahead, contrary to Texas Transportation Code, indicating shared responsibility for the collision. Catherine also sought to emphasize that Plaintiff’s treatment following their ER visit was driven by Plaintiff’s attorney and unreasonable, conveniently using the collision as an excuse to treat prior long-term pain.
Prior to trial, Plaintiff’s last official demand was for $16,500, against which Defendant offered $8,500 to settle the case. After deliberating for 50 minutes, Hays County jurors returned a verdict that Plaintiff was at majority liability for the collision. Catherine worked hard to achieve the best possible judgement for her client, diligently utilizing her experience and trial expertise.
Cause No. 20-1591; Alice Ortiz v. Shannon Cameron; in the 207th Judicial District, Hays County, Texas