RSRM Partner James Andersen secured a defense verdict in a jury trial beginning on March 24, 2014 in Cecil County, Maryland. Three plaintiffs sued multiple vehicle operators for negligence in a multi-vehicle accident that occurred on a bridge with black ice in late November, 2008. Mr. Andersen defended the driver directly behind the plaintiffs’ vehicle and, therefore, was the lead defense attorney in cross-examining Plaintiffs and calling witnesses.
Mr. Andersen vigorously argued that the incident was an unavoidable accident due to unknown treacherous road conditions that formed shortly before the accident. In proving this theory, Mr. Andersen argued that none of the drivers had any difficulty driving earlier that evening until they reached the bridge. Through his zealous advocacy Mr. Andersen successfully elicited testimony from the plaintiff driver that she applied her brakes on the middle of the bridge and slid sideways even though the nearest vehicles in front of her were already leaving the bridge. This defense was further strengthened as the investigating officer called to the accident scene slid somewhat when he came onto the bridge and applied his brakes.
After a mere 25 minutes the jury returned with a defense verdict for all defendants on the basis that as Mr. Andersen argued, this was an unavoidable accident.