The Supreme Court of Alaska recently decided to uphold a jury’s verdict in favor of the defendant in a personal injury claim. The plaintiff had sought damages from the defendant as compensation for injuries that she allegedly suffered in an auto accident caused by the defendant’s failure to stop on an icy road. As a result of the court’s ruling, the plaintiff is unlikely to receive compensation for her personal injury claim.
The Plaintiff’s Vehicle Was Struck From Behind by the Defendant
The plaintiff in the case of Marshall v. Peter is a woman who was allegedly injured when her vehicle was hit by the defendant’s while she waited to perform a left turn. The defendant responded to the complaint and denied that he acted negligently, testifying that he had left adequate space between his vehicle and the plaintiff’s vehicle and that the accident was caused by the icy road conditions. The jury considered the plaintiff’s claims and testimony at trial and decided the defendant was not negligent or responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
The Plaintiff Appeals to the Alaska Supreme Court
The plaintiff appealed the trial court’s rulings to the state supreme court, arguing that the claim should not have been rejected by the jury as a matter of law. The appellate court favored the defendant’s arguments, noting that the jury reasonably could have found that the defendant was exercising due care when operating his vehicle and was not negligent in failing to prevent the accident. The Court additionally entered a judgment against the plaintiff for part of the defendant’s attorneys fees after the plaintiff failed to reasonably consider a settlement offer made by the defendant during pre-trial negotiations.