Eyewitness Testimony Sways Jury’s Decision in Auto Case

Case Caption: Laura Weiss and Zohren Weiss v. James Kimmel
Case Number: 2008CV159710
Verdict: Defense verdict
Court: Fulton County Superior Court
Judge: Kimberly Adams
Date of Verdict: 11/2/2009
Attorneys:
Plaintiff: Gary M. Cooper, Duluth
Defendant: Paul L. Groth, Suwanee

Facts:
A motorist and her son filed suit against a motorist after a collision. The defendant denied liability and presented an eyewitness who gave testimony favorable to the defendant. The jury returned a defense verdict.

Plaintiff Laura Weiss was driving a scooter on April 30, 2007. Her son, Plaintiff Zohren Weiss, was a passenger. They were traveling in the heart of Buckhead on Peachtree Road near Maple Drive. Defendant James Kimmel, a California resident, was driving a Mercedes Benz. Plaintiff Laura was intending to make a left turn onto Maple Drive, but her scooter collided with defendant’s vehicle. The area of the roadway where this accident occurred consisted of three lanes. Plaintiff driver was thrown from the scooter. She was transported by ambulance to an emergency facility where she was diagnosed with a fractured collarbone. Plaintiff son suffered road rash and minor soft tissue injuries that resolved.

Plaintiff Laura alleged she was traveling in the center lane prior to maneuvering into the left lane in anticipation of her turn, but defendant turned in front of her and caused a collision. Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent for his failure to keep a proper lookout.

Defendant denied liability for the collision. A defense eyewitness testified that the scooter was turning from the right lane. Defendant, a California resident, gave testimony by videotape. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff Laura was a 43 year old female who was a hairdresser. Plaintiff Zohren was a 21 year old student.

Alleged Injury: Plaintiff Laura suffered a fractured collarbone that required open reduction with internal fixation using a plate and screws. She was out of work for two months and lost her job as a hairdresser. She claimed $30,000 in medicals and $4,800 in lost wages. Plaintiff Zohren suffered road rash and soft tissue injuries to one hip and the lower back which resolved. He claimed $2,500 in medicals.

Editor’s Notes: Defense counsel stated that the outcome was impacted due to eyewitness testimony.
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