Style of Case: Janet Biggs and Michael Biggs vs. Elisabeth Wyatt and Sheryl Scheibal
Client: Elisabeth Wyatt
Trial End Date: 10/18/2013
Court: Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois
Type of Case: Personal Injury Auto Collision
Judge: The Honorable David Hylla
Reed Armstrong Lawyer who tried the case: Tori L. Walls
Defendant Sheryl Scheibal was travelling southbound on Illinois Route 157 at the intersection of the entrance/exit ramp of I55/70 at the same time Defendant Elisabeth Wyatt was travelling northbound on Illinois Route 157 at the same intersection. As Defendant Wyatt was making a left turn onto the entrance ramp, her vehicle was struck by Defendant Scheibal’s vehicle. Their two vehicles then slid together and came into contact with the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff filed suit against both defendants claiming the defendants were negligent in causing the accident and claiming she suffered injuries to her low back, neck, both knees, both elbows and suffered depression and anxiety as a result of the accident. Plaintiff also claimed she was unable to return to work as a medical biller/coder following the accident. Her husband, Michael Biggs, filed a claim against both defendants for a loss of consortium.
Testimony established the plaintiff had a long history of pre-existing low back pain. The jury heard testimony from several of the plaintiff’s medical providers, three of whom testified the plaintiff could return to work within four months of the accident. The jury also heard testimony from the defendants’ medical expert who opined that the plaintiff suffered a cervical and lumbar strain as a result of the accident that resolved and also opined the plaintiff could have returned to work. The plaintiff asked for over $27,000 in past medical bills, and also requested future medical bills, past and future lost wages, past and future pain and suffering, and past and future loss of normal life. If the jury believed the plaintiff suffered a cervical and lumbar strain, Defendants suggested the jury should award $25,000 for the past medical bills, only four months of lost wages ($8,000), and a minimal amount for pain and suffering and loss of normal life. Defendants suggested the jury should award no future damages and find in favor of the defendants on the loss of consortium claim.
After over two hours of deliberation, the jury found in favor of Plaintiff Janet Biggs and awarded her a total of $33,850.00; itemized as follows: $25,000 medical bills, $8,250 lost wages, $300 pain and suffering and $300 loss of normal life. The jury found both defendants were negligent and split liability at 60% Defendant Wyatt and 40% Defendant Scheibal. The jury found in favor of the defendants on the loss of consortium claim.
Last Demand: $75,000.00 each defendant ($150,000 total); Defense verdict on Michael Biggs claim
Verdict: $20,310 against Wyatt ($33,850.00 total verdict)