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Plaintiff: Brain injury was due to negligence of turning driver
Pitt County, Superior Court
leg-fracture, leg; head; head-headaches; brain-brain damage; brain-traumatic brain injury; other-physical therapy; other-hardware implanted; sensory/speech-speech/language, impairment of; surgeries/treatment-open reduction; surgeries/treatment-internal fixation; mental/psychological-cognition, impairment
Motor Vehicle - Left Turn, Motorcycle, Multiple Vehicle
Chase Cayton v. Blake McCarter, Timothy McCarter and Tim McCarter Plumbing Inc., No. 16 CVS 399
August 14, 2017
Chase Cayton (Male, 23 Years)
Robert E. Whitley; Whitley Law Firm; Kinston, NC, for Chase Cayton
Wade Bartlett; Accident Reconstruction; Rochester, NH called by: Robert E. Whitley ■ Linda Sproat; R.N.; Life Care Planning; Raleigh, NC called by: Robert E. Whitley ■ William Kluge; P.E.; Accident Reconstruction; Raleigh, NC called by: Robert E. Whitley
Tim McCarter Plumbing Inc.
George L. Simpson IV; Simpson Law Firm; Raleigh, NC, for Blake McCarter, Timothy McCarter, Tim McCarter Plumbing Inc.
Erie Indemnity Co.
On Nov. 26, 2015, plaintiff Chase Cayton, 23, a restaurant manager, was driving a motorcycle on Old Snow Hill Road near Route 58 in Kinston. Blake McCarter, who was driving a pickup truck for his father's business in the opposite direction of Cayton, turned left into a driveway in front of Cayton's oncoming motorcycle. Cayton struck the passenger's side of McCarter's truck. Cayton claimed a severe brain injury as a result of the accident. Cayton sued Blake McCarter and McCarter's father, Timothy McCarter, as well as the father's business, Tim McCarter Plumbing Inc. He alleged that Blake McCarter was negligent in the operation of a vehicle. Cayton alleged that McCarter made an improper turn in front of him and that he did not have enough time to brake or take evasive measures to avoid striking McCarter's truck. He argued that McCarter failed to yield the right-of-way and failed to keep a proper lookout. Cayton's experts in accident reconstruction concluded that Cayton was not speeding at the time of the collision. The experts determined that Cayton was driving approximately 53 mph prior to the accident and was in the 40-mph range upon impact. The speed limit was 55 mph. Blake McCarter contended that he properly turned into the driveway and it was Cayton's speeding that caused the accident. McCarter's expert in accident reconstruction calculated Cayton's speed at about 80 mph, with his impact speed in the range of 60 mph.
Cayton was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was admitted. He was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and a fracture to his right leg. He underwent open reduction with internal fixation, with hardware implanted to stabilize the fracture. For the next two and a half months, Cayton remained hospitalized, during which time he received rehabilitation for his brain injury and physical therapy. He was discharged home. His father quit his job to provide round-the-clock care. In the ensuing years, Cayton treated with a speech pathologist and received home care by his family. Cayton initially suffered impairments of his executive decision-making, as well as headaches. His speech has improved since the accident, but he continues to sometimes speak unintelligibly. Cayton's counsel maintained that Cayton will need future care, primarily speech therapy, and is permanently disabled. Cayton sought roughly $633,000 in medical costs, over $1 million in past and future lost earnings and approximately $10 million in future medical costs. He also sought damages for past and future pain and suffering. The defense did not dispute Cayton's injuries or treatment.
The parties settled for $2,988,396 during a mediated settlement. McCarter had a policy limit of $3 million.
Barbara B. "Bonnie" Weyher
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff's and defense counsel.