Lewis Wins Defense Verdict in Wrongful Death Case Involving a Motor Vehicle Accident in Carroll County, Missouri

William Lewis convinced a Carroll County jury to find in his clients' favor and award a verdict in favor of the defendants. The trial lasted three days in November 2011.

Plaintiffs Scott and Michelle Merriman brought suit for the wrongful death of their son, David Merriman, against a school bus company and its driver. On March 13, 2006, David Merriman's death occurred as a result of a collision involving a pickup driven by David Merriman and a school bus driven on South New Garden Road, Ray County, Missouri. The Merriman vehicle was traveling southbound and the bus was traveling northbound on South New Garden Road. There was testimony by both sides' experts that placed both vehicles two feet over the center of the roadway. However, the first contact of the vehicles during impact was made in the northbound lane, the bus' lane. There was witness testimony that the pickup was flying and went airborne prior to impact. David Merriman's blood alcohol was .084 at the time of the collision. He was only 19 years old.

Pre-suit, Plaintiffs' attorney made a demand of $299,999.99 to settle the case. Defendants made no offer to settle the case. Plaintiffs' attorney argued in closing as to the value of a human life, some could say not less than one million, some could say more than a million and some could say less. The jury returned a verdict assessing no liability to either defendant and 100% liability to the decedent.

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