PERSONAL INJURY: ZERO DOLLARS
Injuries claimed: The plaintiff claimed injuries to her neck, right shoulder, lower back and right knee as a result of the accident. The main issues were the neck and right shoulder. The plaintiff had two neck surgeries, resulting in a three-level fusion from C3-6. She also had surgery on her right shoulder.
Court: Milwaukee County Circuit Court
Case name: Sandy Matelski, et al. v. ACUITY, A Mutual Insurance Company, et al.
Case number: 06 CV 8499
Judge: Timothy G. Dugan
Verdict & Settlement: Jury returned defense verdict
Original amount sought: $2 Million
Original offer: $150,000
Award: Zero dollars
Date of incident: Sept. 16, 2003
Disposition date: Jan. 22, 2009
Original filing date: Sept. 12, 2006
Plaintiffs attorney (firm): Molly C. Lavin, Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C., Waukesha
Defendants attorney (firm): Michelle D. Johnson, Arthur P. Simpson, Simpson & Deardorff, S.C.
Insurance carrier: ACUITY, A Mutual Insurance Company
Plaintiffs expert witnesses: Dr. David Coran, Dr. Dennis Sullivan
Defendants expert witnesses: Dr. David Haskell
Defense counsels’ summary of the facts: This case arose out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred on Sept. 16, 2003. Three vehicles were involved in the accident. All three vehicles were eastbound on West Ryan Road in Milwaukee. Defendant Lemberger was operating the vehicle in front. Plaintiff Matelski was behind Lemberger. Defendant Schreiber was behind Matelski. Lemberger stopped for a red light at the intersection of West Ryan Road and South 13th St. Matelski claims she stopped behind Lemberger.
Schreiber claimed he stopped for the light as well. After the light turned green, Lemberger began to accelerate away from the light. She intended to make a U-turn at the median that was east of the intersection. As soon as she cleared the intersection, she claimed she activated her left turn signal to warn the following vehicles that she intended to make a U-turn. Lemberger slowed and began to make her turn. She was then hit from behind.
The plaintiff claimed Lemberger did not activate her turn signal. However, the plaintiff saw Lemberger’s brake lights come on and was able to stop behind Lemberger without rear-ending her. The plaintiff claims she was then hit from the rear by Schreiber, which pushed her vehicle into Lemberger’s.
The plaintiff filed suit against both Lemberger and Schreiber, claiming that they were both negligent and that their negligence was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
Schreiber and his insurer reached a settlement prior to trial. The plaintiff proceeded to trial against Lemberger and her insurer based on the claim that Lemberger did not use her turn signal and short-stopped the vehicles behind her.