Mark Andrews of Morris, Cary, Andrews, Talmadge & Driggers, LLC, in a collaborative effort with attorneys Myron Penn and Shane Seaborn from Penn & Seaborn, LLC, has successfully recovered a $1,272,000 verdict on behalf of a man injured in a collision with a distracted driver in Montgomery County on US Highway 231 south in 2013. After nine days of trial and deliberations, a jury returned with a verdict in favor of the plaintiff.
The trial was over a 2013 accident on US Highway 231 south in Montgomery County when Gregory Moore was driving a rented box truck on wet roads and was distracted by his cell phone while making calls for business. Moore failed to see or stop for a Montgomery County school bus that was fully stopped and flashing for at least 9 seconds while unloading children. Onboard bus video captured the accident sequence. Moore swerved at the last second in an effort to avoid causing a collision, but clipped the rear of the bus. When Moore swerved, the stopped school bus was then first visible to motorists behind Moore’s box truck.
Michael Duey was immediately following Moore. A small car was stopped for the bus in the left northbound lane and children were unloading on the right. As a result, Duey had nowhere to go and was unable to escape collision with the rear of the stopped school bus. Moore's failure to stop created a sudden emergency for Mr. Duey. Mr. Duey suffered critical injuries and was in a coma for 31 days following the crash. Duey has been left with permanent injuries and substantial unpaid medical charges. No children were hurt in the collision.
According to evidence, Moore had allegedly been making business calls and was distracted by his cell phone at the time of the collision. Moore’s cell phone records revealed 29 incoming and outgoing calls prior to the accident. The defense’s own expert testified that checking a cell phone can distract a driver for a period of up to six seconds. The defense alleged that the calls were accidental “butt dial” calls and that the calls were the result of the impact of the collision. It is estimated that the school bus had been stopped for at least nine seconds before being hit, which would have been more than enough time for Moore to react without distractions.
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