MOTOR VEHICLE

No award for alleged injuries, jury finds

On Nov. 13, 2012, a jury declined to award damages to a driver who claimed cervical and lumbar strains in a hit-and-run accident. Kent Tipton sued Courtney Bickford, the owner of a vehicle that struck his sports utility vehicle. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that the vehicle was either driven by Bickford or driven by an unknown individual to whom Bickford had negligently entrusted the vehicle. Bickford stipulated to negligence at trial. Defense counsel argued that Tipton’s injuries were not as severe as claimed, maintaining that there was a gap of several months between his initial chiropractic visit the day after the collision and when he resumed treatment. Defense counsel also noted that Tipton was in a boating accident about six months before the collision.

Tipton v. Bickford, No. 201129052

Court: 281st Harris County District Court

Plaintiff Attorney: Brian M. Harrison, Valore, Murphy & Rabie, Houston

Defense Attorney: Bart Basden, Johanson & Fairless, Sugar Land

PRODUCTS LIABILITY

Ford not liable for man fatally crushed under van

On Nov. 2, 2012, Ford Motor Co. wasn’t to blame for the death of a man who was crushed when using its jack on a minivan, a jury found. Rusty Hendriks was underneath the minivan with its emergency spare tire jack holding it up so he could replace the belt tensioner. His family claimed that the jack wasn’t strong enough to hold the van. Ford contended that the jack was small and lightweight; that it had been designed and manufactured to lift one tire approximately 1 inch off the ground so the user could change a tire; and that it was not designed to hoist the vehicle high enough for anyone to work under it.

Hendriks v. Ford Motor Co., No. 4:12-cv-00071

Court: U.S. District Court, Eastern District, Sherman

Plaintiff Attorneys: Geoff J. Henley and Robert Lane Addison, Henley & Henley, Dallas

Defense Attorneys: Ronald D. Wamsted, John W. Chambless II and William L. Mennucci, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, Austin

The verdicts and settlements above are reported and written by Verdict Search, a Texas Lawyer affiliate.

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