The 7 Minute Defense Verdict

A Delaware County jury deliberated for less than seven minutes before deciding that Joe Petka’s client did not cause plaintiff’s injuries.

The case involved a car accident in Marple Township, Pennsylvania. The defendant admittedly became distracted and entered the oncoming lane of traffic, striking the plaintiff’s vehicle head-on. The impact caused the plaintiff’s airbags to deploy and his windshield to shatter. His vehicle was totaled in the collision and both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

The plaintiff alleged that the airbag knocked his two front teeth out and caused him to have problems with several other teeth, which required several dental surgeries. The surgeries were performed by an oral surgeon who testified on behalf of the plaintiff.

Mr. Petka stipulated to negligence on behalf of his client and defended this case by arguing that the dental issues were pre-existing. For example, one of the plaintiff’s front teeth had fallen out twice before the accident. Additionally, Mr. Petka argued that the plaintiff was going to have all the same dental surgeries regardless of whether the accident occurred.

A jury of 12 agreed with Mr. Petka and found that there was no factual cause that related the accident to the plaintiff’s post-accident dental problems.