Court Affirms Jury’s Defense Verdict in Low-Speed Rear-End Collision

Earlier this week, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in an auto accident case, affirming a jury verdict in favor of the defense. In the case, Marshall v. Peter, the jury determined that the defendant was not negligent when he ran into the back end of the plaintiff’s vehicle as both drivers were stopped at an intersection. The appellate court determined that reasonable jurors could have found that the defendant’s conduct was not negligent, and therefore it affirmed the verdict below.

The Facts of the Case

Marshall was stopped in first position at an intersection, waiting for a green signal. When the signal changed to green, she started to proceed into the intersection with the defendant behind her. The defendant had removed his foot off the brake pedal, but he had not yet depressed the gas pedal when he noticed that Marshall’s car had stopped. He tried to brake but slid on the ice and collided with the rear end of Marshall’s vehicle.

Marshall filed a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver, claiming he was negligent in causing the collision. Marshall was seeking over $200,000 in economic and non-economic damages. The case was submitted to a jury, and it was decided the driver was not negligent. In a post-trial motion, Marshall asked the judge to override the jury’s verdict because “no reasonable juror” could have found that the defendant was not negligent.

The judge denied Marshall’s motion and actually granted the defendant’s request to be reimbursed for reasonable attorney’s fees. In the end, Marshall had to pay over $60,000 of the defendant’s attorney’s fees.

Not satisfied with the result at trial, Marshall asked an appellate court to review the lower court’s decision on both his post-trial motion and the award of attorney’s fees. However, the appellate court noted that “reasonable minds could differ” as to whether the defendant had acted negligently. The court explained that this was not a case in which the defendant was speeding and was unable to stop in time because he failed to account for icy conditions. The court seemed to be persuaded by the fact that the accident occurred at a slow rate of speed as well. In the end, the appellate court affirmed the verdict and the award of attorney’s fees.

Have You Been Involved in a Maryland Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of serious Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for what you have endured. However, not all accidents will result in a favorable verdict or settlement. Other cases will not likely result in large verdicts but may result in a more modest settlement amount. Before you rush to file your case, consider consulting with one of the skilled personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your case. Our lawyers are well-versed in all aspects of personal injury law in Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area. Call 410-654-3600 today to get started.

More Blog Posts:

The Importance of Naming All Potentially Liable Parties in a Personal Injury Lawsuit, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published September 6, 2016.

Court Resolves Ambiguity in Insurance Contract in Favor of Insured, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published August 16, 2016.

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