On July 17, 2013, at approximately 8 p.m., the Plaintiff, Mr. Frank Day, then age 65, was in Gwinnett County, Georgia when he attempted to cross seven lanes of traffic for a newspaper and was hit while in the cross walk by the Defendant, Mr. Gregory McLaughlin. The Plaintiff suffered injuries and incurred $ 140,000 in medical bills of which $ 100,000 he tried to collect from the Defendant’s insurance company, Geico, but was offered only $ 25,000.
The Plaintiff, therefore, filed a lawsuit whereby there was a jury trial in Hall County, Georgia. The case is Day v. McLaughlin, No. 2013 CV 2407-A.
In the consolidated pre-trial order there was no argument between the Plaintiff and Defendant that the Plaintiff was in the final lane of seven lanes in the cross walk when he was hit by the Defendant. What was at issue at trial, however, was whether it was the Plaintiff’s fault or the Defendant’s fault for the accident.
The jury, after a three (3) day trial, found that the Plaintiff was fifty percent (50%) at fault for the accident and the injuries that he sustained as a result thereof. Under Georgia Law, as I have discussed in prior blog posts, this is called Comparative Negligence, and, as set forth under O.C.G.A. Section 51-12-33(g), if it is shown that the Plaintiff is fifty percent (50%) or more responsible for the injury or damages claimed, then the Plaintiff shall not be entitled to receive any amount of damages.
What is interesting in this case is the evidence presented at trial that appeared to show that the Plaintiff in this case was half (50%) at fault for the accident, and the Plaintiff’s approach in failing to educate the jury about the theory of comparative negligence that ended up barring him from any recovery.