Howd & Ludorf, LLC Wins Defense Verdict in New Haven JD
Howd & Ludorf, LLC partners Thomas R. Gerarde and Kristan M. Maccini won a defense verdict before a New Haven jury on July 21, 2011 in Grant v. Sergeant Gary Verni and Town of Branford. Branford police Sergeant Gary Verni was responding to an emergency with lights and siren activated when he approached an intersection guarded by a red light. Sergeant Verni entered the intersection slowly, making eye contact with all drivers he could see. Plaintiff Donald Grant entered the intersection from Sergeant Verniís right, screened by a stopped school bus. Grantís light was green and he never slowed before striking Sergeant Verni broadside. Grant claimed Sergeant Verni was negligent, for having entered the intersection against a red light. He suffered a serious neck injury requiring disk replacement surgery, and claimed damages in excess of $750,000. Attorneys Gerarde and Maccini advanced the defense that because Sergeant Verni had his lights and siren activated, it was not a matter of who had the red light and who had the green light, but whether Sergeant Verni entered the intersection with reasonable caution and whether Donald Grant failed to yield to the emergency vehicle. The jury of six agreed with the defense and returned a verdict for Sergeant Verni and the Town of Branford after brief deliberations.