Wesierski & Zurek brings in defense verdict for the City of Norwalk

In the early morning hours of January 18, 2013, a motor vehicle versus pedestrian accident occurred in a crosswalk located at the intersection of Firestone and Norwalk Blvd.  Wesierski & Zurek LLP represented the City of Norwalk.  Plaintiff was a 17 year old boy who was walking to school when defendant hit him at 40 mph.  Defendant’s car threw plaintiff almost 100 feet and he sustained major orthopedic and brain injuries.   Plaintiff sued the driver, the City of Norwalk (which owned the center median that separated the Eastbound and Westbound lanes of Firestone), the arborist that maintained the trees in the median, and the landscaper that maintained the bushes in the median.  Plaintiff alleged that the presence of the trees and bushes in the median created a dangerous condition of property since they created a sight obstruction for westbound drivers and pedestrians crossing the eastbound lanes of the crosswalk.  The median defendants argued that there was no evidence of poorly maintained vegetation, no evidence of a dangerous condition of property when used with due care, and no visual obstructions between the pedestrian and the driver once the pedestrian left the center median and began crossing the westbound lanes, where plaintiff was hit.  It was also argued by the median defendants that the driver and pedestrian each had ample opportunity to perceive and react to the other, and that they were both at fault for not being attentive.  Plaintiff asked for $35 to $40 million, including a $20 million life care plan.  Non-suits for the arborist and landscaper were granted by the court.  The City of Norwalk received a defense verdict since there was no dangerous condition of property.  Jury awarded the plaintiff almost $14 million in damages, and apportioned fault as 5% against plaintiff and 95% against the driver. The City offered $250,000 pre-trial, which was rejected.  Once post-trial motions are ruled on, the plaintiff will likely owe several hundred thousand dollars to the City of Norwalk.