Terry Evans and William Lewis win a defense verdict in a low-velocity impact (LVI) lawsuit venued in Daviess County, Missouri at Gallatin.
Plaintiff, Robert Smith, age 42, brought suit against Rosalie Jarrett for a motor vehicular accident which occurred on the Hy-Vee parking lot in Bethany, Missouri. During the litigation, Mrs. Jarrett died and her daughter, Jan Duly, was substituted as defendant ad litem.
Plaintiff was grocery shopping at the Hy-Vee store between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. He had parked in one of the parking spaces in front of the store. His groceries were carried to his pick-up by a Hy-Vee employee, who was placing the groceries into the pick-up from the passenger side front door. While the groceries were being loaded, Plaintiff was standing on the driver’s side of his pick-up with his front door open.
According to Smith, he was standing with his left foot on the pavement, his right foot on the threshold, his left arm on top of the driver’s door and his right arm on top of the cab. He saw Mrs. Jarrett pull into the parking space directly in front of his pick-up. However, he turned and looked at the Hy-Vee employee loading the groceries, and during this period of time is when the front end of the Jarrett vehicle collided with the front end of his stationary pick-up. Plaintiff contended the impact caused his driver’s side door to close and sandwich him between the driver’s side door and the pick-up.
Plaintiff contended he lost his balance. The accident was described as a bump between the two vehicles, but there was evidence the pick-up was moved back anywhere from a little bit to six inches. Plaintiff stated he did not have any immediate pain. However, by the time he went to work, the night shift at Wal-Mart in Bethany, he claimed a sore neck. Plaintiff’s job description included working in maintenance and as an unloader and stocker. Plaintiff first saw a doctor approximately one week later. The initial diagnosis was a possible cervical fracture, but later it was determined that Plaintiff did not have a fractured neck, but had a herniated disk, which was surgically treated by spinal fusion.
Plaintiff never went back to work.
Defendant contended that the bump between the two vehicles in the parking lot did not create sufficient force to have caused the injury complained of by Plaintiff. The defendant also asserted that the cause of Plaintiff’s injury was work-related and not as a result of the low-velocity impact.
The jury returned a verdict for Defendant.