In consolidated personal inury/vehicular accident cases No. JDP2012-0072 and No. JDP2012- 0384 in the Puerto Rico Superior Court, Ponce Part, defendants Universal Insurance Company, a San Juan based insurer, and others face a sentence handed down on November 9, 2017, amounting to ten million dollars ($10,000,000) for damages arising from a highway accident. Universal Insurance and the rest of the defendants have requested reconsideration.
The case occurred on Highway 52, near the town of Ponce. The plaintiffs alleged that their vehicle, a Jeep Wrangler, had been rear-ended by the distracted driver of another vehicle (a ‘van’ type). As a result of the accident one of the occupants, a minor, ended up in the curb of the road with severe traumas. The Van was insured by Universal Insurance, who argued in the response to the lawsuit that the accident and damages had occurred through the fault and negligence of the driver of the Jeep who had negligently driven and invaded the lane of the Van. The defendants also alleged as defense that the young woman was not wearing a seat belt, which had been negligence on her part. The insurer also brought as a third-party defendant the owner of the Jeep, its insurer and the driver. The Jeep insurer counter-sued Universal.
The trial lasted more than twenty days. The evidence included about 2,000 folios of documents and the testimony of 12 experts in different areas such as engineering and accident reconstruction, biomechanics, neurology, neuropsychology, maxillofacial surgery, psychiatry and economics. After the trial, the Superior Court of Ponce entered into more than 400 determinations of facts and evaluated the testimony and credibility of the witnesses including defendant’s experts which the court considered them generally unreliable.
Attorney RA Fleming represented the young woman and her father in this personal injury/ vehicular accident claim.