Jury gives $6.15 million for truck/ motorcycle death and injury in construction zone
March 18, 2010
A Lucas County jury rendered a verdict for $6.15 million against construction company E.S. Wagner for the death of Frankie Hunt, Jr. and for injuries to Jamie Kujawa. Kujawa’s lawyer, Michael Leizerman, argued that E.S. Wagner was required to block the left turn lane on Laskey when it closed Burnham Road for a construction project in 2007. E.S. Wagner’s lawyers, Spengler Nathanson, argued that there was no requirement to block the left lane and if there was, it was the obligation of the City of Toledo to block the lane; the jury found that the City of Toledo had no liability.
On the night of the collision, pickup truck driver Anne Hackett entered the left turn lane that accesses Burnham. She couldn’t turn onto Burnham, so she merged back onto Laskey and struck the motorcycle driven by Mr. Hunt, on which Ms. Kujawa was a passenger. The jury found that Mrs. Hackett was 50% at fault.
Mr. Hunt was 32 years old at the time of his death, and leaves behind a 6 year old son. Ms. Kujawa was 24 years old at the time of the collision. She was a volunteer for disabled children and a special education teaching assistant. Arguments in court included the fact that she can not return to working with children since she is at risk of losing her leg if she re-injures it.
The trial and deliberations lasted 9 days. Attorney Michael Leizerman served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs. Lawyers Marty Goff and Al Mollencamp represented the Hunt Estate.