John Schultz successfully defends Fire Department in catastrophic injury case
An Adair County, Missouri jury assessed 90% fault to a Missouri Highway Patrolmen who suffered a back injury resulting in 4 surgeries, leaving her completely disabled, in a case brought against the City of Laplata, Missouri, the Laplata Volunteer Fire Department and the Laplata Rural Fire Department for negligence in failing to warn that fire and rescue vehicles were parked on a country road, over the crest of a hill, responding to an earlier accident. Along with co-counsel Keith Henson of St. Louis, Missouri, Schultz argued that there was not sufficient time to warn as the fire and rescue trucks had just arrived on the scene of the earlier accident. The defense also established that the Patrolmen may have been driving as fast as 85 mph as her car crested the hill before the accident. The Patrolmen's medical expenses exceeded $200,000 and her lost earning capacity was projected at 1.6 million dollars. The jury deliberated 5 hours before returning a verdict just before midnight on January 29, 2010. The jury awarded damages of $800,000 which resulted in a net verdict of $80,000 after comparing the Patrolmen's fault. Plaintiffs' counsel asked for 10 million dollars in closing argument, after the Patrolmen and her husband rejected a settlement offer of 1.7 million dollars. Walley v. Mock Case. No. CV104-396CC.