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Case of the Month August 2019
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Case of the Month August 2019

Vehicle Collides With Building; Injures Office Worker

Ernst v. State Farm

Case Type:
Vehicle Negligence - Sole Vehicle
Vehicle Negligence - Stationary Structure

Specific Liability:
Motorist attempting to park vehicle accidentally stepped onto the gas and collided with a building, injuring individual working in his office

General Injury:
Neck and back; medical expenses; lost wages

State: Wisconsin
Circuit Court of Wisconsin, Third Judicial District, Waukesha County.

Related Court Documents:
Plaintiff's complaint: 2019 WL 2511785
Defendants' pretrial report: 2018 WL 8558123
Plaintiff's pretrial report: 2018 WL 8558124
Order approving distribution 2019 WL 2494407

Case Name:
John R. Ernst v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and Gerald E. Lenetz

Docket/File Number:

Result Amount:

Result Date:
March 25, 2019

Ralph M. Ramirez

Plaintiff: Mark L. Thomsen, Gingras, Cates & Wachs, Waukesha, WV
Defendants: Daniel J. O'Brien, Halling & Cayo S.C., Milwaukee, WI

Result Type:

Plaintiff: Not reported
Defendant: Not reported

Breakdown of Award:
$31,854.17 to plaintiff
$7,197.41 for reimbursement of worker's compensation
$54,437.48 to plaintiff as a cushion or credit against any additional claim under worker's compensation
$54,437.48 to plaintiff's attorney as cost of collection

Summary of Facts:
John Ernst was working in his office at ProHealth Care Medical Center. Gerald Lentz was attempting to park his 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan when his foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas, which caused his vehicle to strike the building. Ernst allegedly sustained neck and back injuries as a result of the incident. Ernst filed a lawsuit against Lentz and his insurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. The plaintiff alleged Lentz was negligent in the operation of his vehicle by stepping on the gas rather than the brake. He sought compensation for his bodily injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and disability. The defendants stipulated to liability but disputed the extent of the plaintiff's claimed injuries and damages. The parties reached a settlement in the amount of $150,000.

Circuit Court of Wisconsin, Third Judicial District, Waukesha County.

Westlaw Citation:
2019 WL 2511785

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