After a six day trial and ten hour jury deliberation, F&P attorneys Imoh Akpan and Renee Bowen helped secure a defense verdict in last month’s trial in the case of Gardner v. Demby. The case was a complex motor accident and was tried before U.S. District Court, Judge Catherine C. Blake.
The facts of the accident are as follows: on a clear afternoon in April of 2013, 82 year old plaintiff Robert John Glad was driving his vehicle on Route 301 in Maryland. Plaintiff John Borycens, a male in his 60s, was a passenger. At the same time, a dump truck, operated by defendant Markeith Doron Demby and owned by Thomas H. Pauls, LLC, was driving in the same direction. Glad alleged that Demby failed to maintain his lane of travel and struck his vehicle, which was traveling at highway speed of 62 mph. Demby contended that he attempted to make “J” turn in a designed turn around, when plaintiff’s vehicle struck his and that Glad had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Plaintiff Glad was airlifted to a local trauma center for treatment of a fractured hip, neck and back injuries, and traumatic brain injury. Both plaintiff Borycens and defendant Demby suffered neck and back injuries. Glad died of unrelated causes prior to trial. There was no dispute over injuries suffered by the parties to this accident; the matter went to the jury on the issue of liability and extent of damages.
Plaintiffs filed suit against Demby for failure to maintain his lane of travel, failure to keep a proper lookout, failure to control his vehicle, and failure to avoid this accident. Plaintiffs named owners of the company, Thomas H. Pauls, Julia Pauls, Vernetta E. Sherman, Joan L. Wilmer and Joan Pauls Wilmer. Plaintiff Borycens settled his claims against defendants for $50,000 prior to trial, and the case proceeded against Demby, Sherman and Thomas H. Pauls, LLC. The other defendants were dismissed.
Defendants denied Demby was negligent contending that Glad fell asleep at the wheel and drove into his truck, which was attempting a legal “J” turn in a designated turn around. Demby counterclaimed for injuries he sustained in the accident.
Again, after nearly two days of deliberations the jury returned a defense verdict for Demby, Sherman and Thomas H. Pauls, LLC, on plaintiff’s negligence claim. The jury also returned a defense verdict for Glad on Demby’s counterclaim for damages. No damages were awarded to either party.