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Sometimes going to trial is your best option (Part 2)

By Aaron Smith, Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

Just a few short weeks ago, attorneys Buzz English and J.A. Sowell from our firm took a case to trial because our client felt it was the best option, and we concurred.

In that case, we were defending a truck driver and the company he worked for against a lawsuit filed by a pedestrian he struck at night while driving. Our observation from that case is that sometimes it is best to go to trial — and we had that lesson reinforced for us and our clients again this week in Simpson Circuit Court.

Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith

I defended the owners of the Franklin Drive-In against a lawsuit filed by a woman who tripped and fell at the outdoor theater and sued, alleging negligence on the part of the owner in maintaining the property. The woman went to a bathroom on the property in the dark during a movie and stepped in an uneven spot in the ground and fell, breaking her leg. She missed several months of work. She sued for lost wages for the time she was out of work, pain and suffering (including past, current and future) and reimbursement for medical bills.

The accident happened on October 1, 2016, and she filed suit shortly thereafter.

We took the case to trial, appealing to the common sense of the jury. After all, this is an outdoor theater, carrying with that all of the expectations that one might have when walking outdoors. It was also dark out, as it was a movie theater, so not being able to see clearly where you are walking is part of the risk you accept when you go to an outdoor venue.

The trial started on the morning of October 17 and concluded with a unanimous verdict of zero fault on the part of our client by the end of October 18. This was simply an accident – and it was no one’s fault. The jury agreed.

The Franklin Drive-In is a staple of life in Simpson County, and we’re pleased for the Price family that owns the drive-in that they didn’t receive a verdict against the business.

If you’re seeking an attorney who knows their way around a courtroom, call us. We may be able to help you. You can reach me, attorney Aaron Smith, at (270) 781-6500 or asmith@elpolaw.com.