Chmielewski v. Moore – Yolo County

Brian Powers headshotOn October 26, 2012, Brian Powers finished a four day jury trial in Yolo County resulting in a defense verdict. The suit arose from an accident that happened in Woodland at the intersection of East and Gibson. The plaintiff, then 20, was crossing Gibson, riding his skateboard southbound in the cross-walk at the east side of the intersection. Brian’s client, Mr. Moore, was driving his vehicle in the eastbound number two lane on Gibson. There was a van next to Mr. Moore in the eastbound number one lane on Gibson. The van driver almost hit the plaintiff who then rode in front of Mr. Moore and was hit in the cross-walk. The plaintiff’s injuries included a displaced left femur fracture and a comminuted fracture of the right tibia. He underwent fasciotimies in both legs because of the development of compartment syndromes. The Hanif/Howell medical expenses totaled $497,087.  The plaintiff had previously rejected an arbitration award obtained by Rob Bennett finding plaintiff 100% at fault and a 998 offer for $50,000.

The case was bifurcated and only liability was tried. The plaintiff’s attorney argued that the intersection was an open one and even if the plaintiff was crossing against a “Don’t Walk” sign Mr. Moore should have seen the plaintiff crossing in sufficient time to avoid the accident. Through the testimony of the percipient witnesses and accident reconstruction expert Larry Neuman, Brian proved that Mr. Moore and the driver of the van entered the intersection on a green light, the plaintiff crossed against a “Don’t Walk,” the plaintiff’s signal was “Don’t Walk” at the time of the collision, and the van obstructed Mr. Moore’s view of the plaintiff.

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