Jury awards $150,000 to plaintiff “‘Cheri” Gallo who was hit by a van while crossing Idaho Street in 2008. The judgment was less than the $6 million sought by the plaintiff’s attorneys.
Jury awards plaintiff more than $150,000
After three hours of deliberations on Friday, seven out of eight jurors agreed that Lile “Cheri” Gallo suffered $300,000 in damages. But as per the jury, the plaintiff being 49% responsible for the accident was entitled to only 51% of the award. The award was much less than the $6 million sought by the plaintiff’s accident attorneys who said that they were pleased with the judgment.

Attorneys for the plaintiff wanted out of court settlement for $82,000
The accident attorneys representing Gallo were willing to accept a payout of $82,000 which was denied by the defendants who were willing to settle for only $10,000. They said that they were happy with the victory and the judgment given by jury where the defendants will now have to pay 15 times more than what they offered.
In addition to the jury award the plaintiff is also entitled to pay prejudgment interest, attorney fees, and costs as per the law. The defendants in the case were Elko Flora, its owners and D.E.W. Inc, all of whom claimed responsibility for the van and its driver Weston Ferguson.
In their closing arguments the plaintiff’s lawyers urged the jury to send a message to the community that negligent driving will not be accepted in Elko.
The case was strongly presented by both sides
In the accident, Gallo’s back and pelvis which were fractured while she sustained a brain injury that her family alleges has changed her personality and caused much stress for the family.
Gallo herself feels very guilty that she did not look twice to her left before crossing the street and takes partial blame for the accident.
Counsel for the defendants argued that although both Gallo and the driver had taken blame for the accident, given the evidence, Gallo was more to be blamed than the driver. The defense lawyer cited bits of testimony heard throughout the trial and provided evidence to support her arguments.
She said that Gallo peered only once to her left and was fiddling with her cell phone when she stepped on to the road and left the crosswalk midway.
Three of the four witnesses believed that Gallo was on the crosswalk when she was hit by the van. However, the victim told the police she was not on the crosswalk when it happened. Then why would you not believe her? Was she on drugs or drunk?
If the jury had decided that Gallo was to carry more than half the blame she would not have been entitled to the award.
No clarity on speed limit
The plaintiff’s accident attorneys argued that Nevada law mandates that all vehicles slow down when approaching and crossing an intersection, but the defense counsel argued that there was no clear specification what the speed limit should be. The accident probably would not have occurred if the driver had slowed down to 10 mph a couple of seconds before the impact. But why would anyone slow down if there was not a red light or stop sign?
According to the driver’s deposition given in 2010, he was driving at speeds between 20 and 25 mph. In a Nevada civil suit only six panelists have to agree for a verdict to be reached.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.