Home / Verdicts and Settlements / Michael Sanchez, et al. v. Erie Insurance

Michael Sanchez, et al. v. Erie Insurance


Injuries claimed: Comminuted fractures of the tibia and fibula of right leg; two mandibular fractures, plus fracture of one cervical vertebra.

Court: Milwaukee County Circuit Court

Case name: Michael Sanchez, et al. v. Erie Insurance

Case number: 07-CV-012776

Judge: Dennis P. Moroney

Verdict & settlement: Verdict
. Offer of settlement filed by plaintiff: $150,000 on Dec. 22, 2008.
Original offer: $15,000 offered at mediation.

Award: $468,403

Special damages: Medical expenses of $194,803 and lost earnings of $6,100

Date of incident: Oct. 29, 2006

Plaintiff’s attorney (firm): Michael I. Tarnoff, Warshafsky, Rotter, Tarnoff & Bloch, S.C.

Defendants’ attorney (firm): Jake A. Josetti, Jacobson & Ratzel

Insurance carrier: Erie Insurance

Plaintiff’s expert witness: Dr. Gregory Schmeling, Froedtert Hospital

Plaintiff counsel’s summary of the facts: Plaintiff, 22 years old at the time of the accident, was a pedestrian crossing Oakland Avenue in Milwaukee at the intersection of East Thomas in a westerly direction. He claimed he was in the crosswalk and was proceeding at a brisk pace to get across the street at 1:30 a.m. on the evening of Halloween and was struck by a southbound vehicle driving seven miles over the speed limit, the driver of which failed to see the plaintiff any time before the accident.

A witness in defendant’s car claimed that plaintiff was running across the street out of the crosswalk and not looking, which is why the insurer made essentially a non-offer at mediation.

Plaintiff’s negligence theory: Defendant was found negligent as to lookout and speed as a matter of law by the trial court.

Result: The jury found the defendant 100 percent causally negligent, and awarded $468,403. The policy limits were $250,000 so the net recovery amounted to just over $271,000 with interest and costs.

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