Johnson, Duffie, Swewart & Weidner - Law
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Attorney Adamson's Zealous Advocacy Results in Non-Suit at Trial and Affirmance in the Superior Court

05.02.18

Attorney Adamson obtained a non-suit at trial in Dauphin County before Senior Judge Eby, in a case involving a plaintiff who fell from the defendant client's vehicle, after the defendant pulled away from a parking spot. The plaintiff had been a passenger in the client's vehicle and exited. When he fell from atop the vehicle, he suffered a severe closed head injury, resulting in, among other things, memory loss and loss of sense of smell. The lien for medical treatment alone was $98,000, in addition to plaintiff's claim for past and future wage loss. At trial, Attorney Adamson argued, and Judge Eby agreed, that the plaintiff had not established a prima facie case of negligence, as there was no evidence that our client knew the plaintiff was on the vehicle when the client pulled away. Only after hearing the plaintiff make a knock on the back window did the client see him, and stop the vehicle. Before the Pennsylvania Superior Court, plaintiff argued that this case was akin to leaving a cell phone, coffee mug, or car seat on top of the roof, getting in, and pulling away. Attorney Adamson argued to the contrary, as in those situations a driver knows that the cell phone, coffee mug, or car seat was on the roof; whereas in this case, our client had no knowledge of the plaintiff alighting the vehicle until the vehicle was already pulling out of the parking spot and plaintiff made a knock at the back window. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court's grant of a non-suit.