John Freeman Wins Summary Judgment in Motor Vehicle Case
On June 12, 2018, John Freeman of the Pennsylvania/South Jersey office of Russo & Toner LLP won summary judgment in Hicks v. FJP Services, a motor vehicle case in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in which Plaintiff claimed damages in excess of $50,000. The Plaintiff claimed that he suffered a serious left retina injury when his left eye was struck by a rock, which he claimed flew off the insured’s truck and through Plaintiff’s open driver-side window. However, a record authored by Plaintiff’s ophthalmologist indicated that when Plaintiff first consulted her nine days after the accident, she determined that Plaintiff’s left eye issues were chronic and longstanding. She opined that they pre-dated the subject accident, and were more likely the result of a childhood incident in which Plaintiff was accidentally struck in the left eye by a baseball bat. Plaintiff failed to produce an expert report to refute this opinion and causally relate the injury to the alleged incident. John argued in his Motion for Summary Judgment that without expert opinion evidence on causation, Plaintiff would be unable to meet his burden of proving a prima facie case; this is not the type of injury such as, say, a broken bone, which under Pennsylvania law can be causally related to trauma by the Plaintiff’s own lay opinion testimony. The Court agreed, and entered summary judgment in favor of our client and against Plaintiff.