Cote v UPS

Brian H. Breedlove

Case Conclusion Date:October 5, 2007

Practice Area:Motorcycle Accident

Outcome:Jury verdict $11 million; motorcycle accident.

Description:On July 7, 2005, plaintiff Philip Cote Jr., 27, a production worker, was motorcycling on the eastbound side of Sherman Avenue, near its intersection at Larose Street, in Glens Falls. As he proceeded through the intersection, a westbound UPS truck suddenly and without warning took a left turn across Mr. Cote's lane of travel. Cote tried to steer around the rear of the truck that was crossing his lane but oncoming traffic prevented him from doing so. He hit the rear bumper step assembly of the UPS truck. Cote sustained a traumatic amputation of his right arm and multiple fractures to his leg. Cote sued, United Parcel Service Inc, for their driver's negligence. UPS blamed Cote and claimed he was speeding and out of control. The police wrote Mr. Cote a ticket while he was in a coma. The ticket was thrown out of court. UPS hired an expert engineer who opined that Cote was traveling about 50 mph when the crash occurred. In response, Cote claimed that he was maintaining a speed of about 25 mph to 30 mph, within the speed limit. Cote's right, dominant right arm became caught in the truck's rear bumper which was twisted and torn from his body. He sustained four fractures of his right leg. He was transported to Albany [N.Y.] Medical Center. Despite doctors' efforts, his amputated right arm could not be reattached. The force of impact was so severe that it ripped the nerves from the brachial plexus, resulting in the loss of use of his shoulder muscles. Cote underwent fusion to stabilize his right shoulder, and his leg fractures were treated via the internal fixation of rods and other hardware. Verdict Information: The jury found that the defendants were liable for the crash. It determined that the Cotes' damages totaled $11,160,308.80.

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