Koonz McKenney Wins Appellate Ruling Upholding Verdict for Injured Motorist

By Peter DePaolis

Lawyers with Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P. recently achieved a favorable decision for a client who had been injured in a WMATA accident involving a Metrobus.

The D.C. Court of Appeals affirmed a judgment on a jury verdict for the client, Nathan Brown, and against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The case arose from a car accident in which a Metrobus suddenly and without warning merged into the lane in which Mr. Brown was driving his van. To avoid colliding with the bus, Mr. Brown steered his van toward the curb and crashed into a lamppost. He sustained significant neurological injuries.

On behalf of Mr. Brown, Washington, D.C. injury attorneys William P. Lightfoot and Kelly Fisher sued the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. They alleged that the negligence of the Metrobus operator caused the crash that resulted in Mr. Brown’s injuries, and they sought an award of money damages to compensate him. The case proceeded to trial before Superior Court Judge Geoffrey M. Alprin.

The jury found WMATA liable and awarded Mr. Brown damages of $287,500. WMATA then appealed the judgment to the D.C. Court of Appeals. WMATA argued that the trial judge committed error in three evidentiary rulings. Washington, D.C. injury lawyer Marc Fiedler countered that the trial judge (1) properly allowed two eyewitnesses to present lay-opinion testimony that Mr. Brown “did the best thing” by swerving away from the bus and into the lamppost; (2) properly admitted into evidence Mr. Brown’s medical bills without direct testimony from a doctor verifying their reasonableness; and (3) properly allowed Mr. Brown to testify about the permanence of his injuries where his treating physician also testified they are permanent. The appellate court rejected WMATA’s arguments and agreed with Mr. Fiedler that the trial judge committed no reversible error. The court therefore affirmed the judgment in favor of Mr. Brown. With interest, the damages award now exceeds $300,000.

If you suffered injuries in the Washington, D.C. area, contact our office to see how our injury attorneys can protect your rights and secure compensation for your medical expenses.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.