Wayne County Circuit Court
Judge Patricia Fresard
September 30, 2019
Defendants—Hewson & Van Hellemont: Corey McPherson & Wayne Bess
Plaintiff—The Law Offices of Berry & Berry: Adam Berry & Amanda Berry
Type of Action:
First Party No-Fault & Uninsured Motorist
First Party Demand: $138,000.00
Uninsured Motorist Demand: $20,000.00
Whether Crystal Bailey was involved in a motor vehicle accident on August 13, 2017.
Summary of Trial:
Plaintiff was claiming approximately $117,000.00 in medical expenses and $5,500.00 in household replacement services, as well as interest and attorney fees, in relation to an alleged August 13, 2017 motor vehicle accident. In addition, Plaintiff was seeking $20,000.00 in Uninsured Motorist Benefits. Plaintiff alleged that she was sitting in a parked vehicle in front of her aunt’s house when another vehicle rear-ended the vehicle. Plaintiff alleged injuries to her neck, back, and shoulders.
At trial, Plaintiff relied on the testimony of herself, her sister, and her physical therapist. Plaintiff informed the jury that she was sitting in her Uncle’s parked vehicle along with her uncle, aunt, and her aunt’s mother. She informed the jury that an unidentified vehicle rear-ended her Uncle’s parked vehicle. Her sister testified that she provided household services for one-year following the accident. Her physical therapist testified that he could tell it was a recent injury due to his ability to identify spasms throughout her back.
At trial, State Farm relied on the earliest versions of the accident reported to State Farm, which contained contradictions regarding seating positions, seatbelt use, and ignition on/off. State Farm also relied heavily on the prior testimony of Plaintiff and her sister in order to impeach them during trial. During trial, Plaintiff told a different version of events regarding the facts surrounding the date of loss. In addition, Plaintiff’s sister contradicted Plaintiff regarding the facts surrounding the date of loss and the amount of household services that were performed. State Farm also called the other-involved passengers, who failed to appear for trial. However, the depositions were read to the jury, which created further inconsistencies regarding the facts of loss. Finally, State Farm called an Accident Reconstructionist, Don Parker, to testify how the damage to the vehicle established that this accident could not have taken place as described by Plaintiff.
The Jury found that Crystal Bailey was not involved in a motor vehicle accident on August 13, 2017.