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Case of the Month August 2016
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Case of the Month August 2016

Tractor Trailer Rear-Ends Vehicle on Interstate

Cornwell v. Daniels Sharpsmart Inc.

Case Type:
Vehicle Negligence - Motor Vehicle v. Motor Vehicle
Vehicle Negligence - Truck
Vehicle Negligence - Stopped Vehicle
Vehicle Negligence - Rear-End

Specific Liability:
Stopped vehicle rear-ended on highway

General Injury:
Spinal Nerve with Disc Injury
Headaches; Bulging Disc

Jurisdiction:
State: Wisconsin
Court: Circuit Court of Wisconsin, First Judicial District, Milwaukee County.

Related Court Documents:
Plaintiff's complaint: 2014 WL 11485617
Defendants' pretrial report: 2015 WL 11070614
Plaintiff's pretrial report: 2015 WL 11070627
Verdict form 2016 WL 3429824

Case Name:
CORNWELL v. DANIELS SHARPSMART, INC.; CHARTIS, INC. D/B/A COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY INSURANCE COMPANY

Docket/File Number:
2014-CV-003344

Result Amount:
Plaintiffs, $563,191


Result Date:
January 29, 2016

Judge:
Rebecca F. Dallet

Attorneys:
Plaintiff: James J. Gende II, Gende Law Office S.C., Pewaukee, WI
Defendant: Brad A. Markvart, Thomas & Associates, New Berlin, WI
Defendant: James J. Kriva, Kasdorf, Lewis & Swietlik S.C., Milwaukee, WI
Defendant: Daniel S. Elger, Kasdorf, Lewis & Swietlik S.C., Milwaukee, WI

Result Type:
Jury Trial

Experts:
Plaintiff: Not reported
Defendant: Not reported

Breakdown of Award:
Plaintiff, $563,191
DAMAGES: Compensatory Pain & Suffering: $193,416
Compensatory Past Medical: $259,715
Compensatory Past Wages: $110,060
Total Compensatory Award: $563,191
Punitive Damages: $0
Hedonic Damages: $0
Property Damages: $0
Interest: $0
Other Damages: $0
Loss of Services: $0
Comparative Negligence Percentage: 0

Summary of Facts:
Michael Cornwell, an adult male, claimed he suffered post traumatic headaches, a disc bulge at C5-C6 leading to chronic neck and arm pain and requiring physical therapy and future surgery to decompress the cervical nerves, as a result of an automobile collision in which his vehicle, stopped on an interstate, was struck from the rear by a tractor trailer owned by defendant Daniels Sharpsmart, Inc. and insured by defendant Chartis, Inc. d/b/a Commerce and Industry Insurance Company. The plaintiff contended that the driver of the tractor trailer failed to maintain a reasonable distance from his vehicle and Daniels Sharpsmart, Inc. was causally negligent. The defendants contended the collision occurred at a low rate of speed during stop-and-go traffic due to a lane closure. They also contended the plaintiff only sustained soft tissue injuries to his neck, had pre-existing cervical conditions and exaggerated his symptoms. The jury was instructed that the driver of the tractor trailer was negligent and his negligence was a cause of injuries to the plaintiff.

Court: Circuit Court of Wisconsin, First Judicial District, Milwaukee County.

Westlaw Citation:
2016 WL 3505061


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