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Partner Nik Makarenko Secures Defense Verdict in John Doe Case
January 31, 2019
Partner Nik Makarenko tried a case in the State Court of Jackson County. The Plaintiff alleged that the accident was caused by an unknown “John Doe” Driver that had stopped their car in the middle of the road. The Plaintiff was alleges he was forced to swerve to avoid a collision which caused his vehicle to leave the roadway and strike an embankment. The driver of the stalled vehicle then left the scene and their identity was never discovered.
At trial the Plaintiff testified that he did not see the stopped vehicle until it was too late and that there was nothing he could have done to avoid the collision. Witnesses testified that they were travelling the same direction as the Plaintiff and saw the stalled/stopped vehicle for several hundred feet. They also testified that there was plenty of time and distance to slow or change lanes to avoid the stopped vehicle. The police officer also testified about his observations upon arriving at the scene.
Plaintiff alleged several injuries including head trauma, facial cuts and bruises, a cervical fracture, multiple fractured ribs, a cracked sternum, punctured lung and broken teeth. His medical bills approached 6 figures. He alleged the John Doe driver was 90% at fault (admitting that he bore 10% fault) for the accident and asked the jury to award his medical bills and a significant amount for pain and suffering. Mr. Makarenko asked the jury to award a defense verdict. After deliberating for 40 minutes, the jury awarded a defense verdict.