Attorneys Matthew S. LaBeau, Christopher T. Lang, and Lynn B. Sholander obtained summary disposition in an automobile negligence claim where the Plaintiff sustained life-altering catastrophic injuries.
Their clients, a local farm, and their employee were accused of negligently operating their tractor-trailer, and negligently maintaining the vehicle. The employee was driving 80,000 pounds of grain to be processed when he was going through an intersection and struck a vehicle where the Plaintiffs, two minor children, were back-seat passengers. The employee had a green light and the vehicle carrying the Plaintiffs, driven by their mother, had a red light. The Plaintiffs’ theory, however, was that the employee should have seen Plaintiffs’ vehicle and taken evasive action to avoid the incident. In addition, the Plaintiffs claim that the farm did not follow regulations, claimed that the vehicle was negligently maintained, the employee did not have the proper licensor, and the accident, likewise, would have been avoided with proper maintenance and training.
After extensive discovery, the Motion for Summary Disposition was filed and granted in the Kent County Circuit Court. The Court found, as a matter of law, that the farm and its employee did not owe the duties alleged by Plaintiffs, and they complied with their duty of ordinary care to the Plaintiffs, dismissing the case entirely. One Plaintiff, a six-year-old girl, sustained a fractured cervical spine resulting in high-level quadriplegia and the lifetime use of a ventilator. The other Plaintiff, an eight-year-old boy, sustained two fractured femurs requiring surgical repair. The Plaintiffs’ last demand was $2,600,000.