New England Verdicts
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Dog walker shouldn't have been in roadway, per defendant
Norfolk County, Superior Court
arm-fracture, arm; hip-fracture, hip; leg-fracture (fracture, tibia); leg-fracture (fracture, fibula); other-abrasions; epidermis-contusion; surgeries/treatment-open reduction; surgeries/treatment-internal fixation
Motor Vehicle - Pedestrian, Single Vehicle
Leona Doran v. Ardis Porter, No. 2015-00137
July 1, 2016
Leona Doran (Female, 86 Years)
Owen P. McGowan; McGowan & Associates; Norwell, MA, for Leona Doran
Drew M. Elinoff; Law Offices of Drew M. Ellinoff; E. Weymouth, MA, for Ardis Porter
Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Co. for Porter
On Dec. 16, 2013, during daylight hours, plaintiff Leona Doran, 86, a dog walker and house cleaner, was walking her German Shepherd dog on Quincy Shore Drive/Route 3A in Quincy. Doran and her dog were hit by a vehicle driven by Ardis Porter, knocking them about 20 feet from the point of impact. Doran claimed multiple orthopedic fractures, abrasions and contusions as a result of the incident. Her dog was also injured. Doran filed suit against Porter, alleging that Porter was negligent in the operation of a motor vehicle. Doran alleged that she had walked her dogs along this particular route for 50 years. She claimed she was visible as she walked on the shoulder of the road. She maintained that she was walking on the shoulder because the road was icy at the time. Further, Doran argued that Porter had poor eyesight and should not have been driving. Porter contended that Doran should not have been walking in the roadway, she did not see Doran and this was simply an accident. The defense asserted that Doran was comparatively negligent.
Doran sustained multiple orthopedic fractures to her hip, lower legs and arm. She required open reduction with internal fixation to repair the fractures. She also claimed serious abrasions and contusions. Doran's dog survived its injuries, but required medical treatment as well. Doran made a good recovery, but argued that she was now only able to walk smaller dogs and that house cleaning was more difficult. She claimed medicals of $148,000, with a medical lien of $98,000, in addition to damages for pain and suffering. The defense disputed the nature and extent of Doran's injuries and damages.
The jury attributed 75-percent liability to the defendant and 25-percent liability to the plaintiff. The jury's award of $600,000 was reduced to $450,000 to reflect the comparative negligence finding. With interest, the total award was $528,000, which was within the parameters of a $650,000/$150,000 high/low agreement.
Leona Doran: $600,000 Personal Injury: compensatory damages
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff's counsel. Defense counsel did not respond to a request for comment.