Atheseus Lockhart Obtains Defense Verdict in Bench Trial

Posted in Verdicts and Settlements on December 15, 2022

Orlando partner, Atheseus R. Lockhart, recently obtained a defense verdict in a bench trial regarding a claim of negligence when the insured truck driver entered the roadway in a construction area.

Plaintiff alleged the truck driver entered the roadway from a standing stop immediately in front him.  While the defense vehicle was partially in the roadway, Plaintiff was unable to slow down due to the distance and struck the truck driver.  Plaintiff claimed the actions of the truck driver were the sole cause of the accident. 

After the close of Plaintiff’s case in chief, Mr. Lockhart successfully argued Florida’s long standing rebuttable presumption of negligence as to the actions of the driver who strikes another in the rear.  

The physical damage to Plaintiff’s vehicle and facts of the case did not support a claim of negligence for against the truck driver.  Plaintiff testified he saw the truck driver more than 50 yards away and the damage to Plaintiff’s vehicle was along the entire front of his vehicle indicating the truck driver was fully in his lane of travel when the Plaintiff struck him.