GMR Wins on Liability in Camden County, New Jersey Jury Trial in Automobile Striking Pedestrian Claim

GMR Senior Associate Brandon Cohen obtained a no-cause verdict on liability from his client stemming from an accident in which the Plaintiff-pedestrian alleged he was struck by a vehicle, sustained neck and back injuries, and underwent extensive treatment, including six pain management injections. His treating doctor also recommended surgery. 

The Honorable Judith S. Charny presided over the 4-day trial in Camden County.  The plaintiff alleged he was standing in the street near the curb in front of his house when he was struck by the defendant’s vehicle.  Concerning injuries, the plaintiff told the jury he was healthy at the time of the accident with no prior problems to his neck or lower back.  The plaintiff argued the jury should award damages for his pain and suffering for his 35-year left expectancy per New Jersey’s Time Unit rule.

The defendant told the jury that she was driving in the residential street, saw the plaintiff, slowed down, and went around him when he unexpectedly walked backward into her side-view mirror.  She disputed the accident’s severity and told the jury that the plaintiff’s leaf blower backpack hit the mirror without contact with his body.  Critically, Brandon successfully secured an Adverse Inference charge given to the jury given the plaintiff’s failure to retain a critical piece of evidence – video footage from the date of the accident from the plaintiff’s home doorbell camera.  Brandon further argued that his client could not avoid the impact because the plaintiff had walked backward into his client’s vehicle. 

After deliberating for less than an hour, the jury returned a 5-1 verdict in concluding that Brandon’s client was not at fault for the accident.