Car accident plaintiff awarded $40K by Madison County jury

Christina Stueve May 8, 2012, 8:51am


A Madison County jury awarded plaintiff Clyde Wallace $40,000 for injuries he sustained in a 2010 car wreck following a two-day trial.

"We're happy for Clyde," said his attorney Michael Glisson after the verdict was announced. "The jury was fair in the circumstances."

Wallace sued Amanda Galbraith over an accident that took place on Jan. 4, 2010. Galbraith struck Wallace's parked 1995 Mercury Cougar as she was eastbound on College Avenue in her 2007 Toyota Corolla.

Wallace's vehicle had been parked due to a previous collision with another vehicle.

He claimed the impact of Gailbraith's vehicle caused him to be thrown onto the hood of another vehicle and into its windshield, causing him to suffer internal and external injuries.

Wallace claimed Galbraith could not see out of her icy windshield and that she was texting and using her cell phone while driving at the time of the incident.

Defense attorney Deborah Bell Yates congratulated Glisson for his victory after the jury left the courtroom.

Glisson had requested the jury award Wallace, 84, $103,407 during closing arguments.

Allstate Insurance Co. had offered $3,000 before the trial and increased the figure to $10,000 during the trial. Glisson's settlement demand was $20,000.

"Our final demand to settle the case was $20,000, and then the jury awarded $40,000," Glisson said. "He (Wallace) was very happy."

During closing arguments, Glisson told the jury that Gailbraith was driving down the road without cleaning off her icy windshield and possibly texting when she caused the collision.

"It was very dangerous to the community," he said. "She made a decision to drive in a car without being able to see."

"It was unbelievable Clyde was involved with this. This was a guy who fought for two years in combat. He was enjoying his retirement. He joined the army and served his country."

The case was tried as a damages-only trial, which was presided over by Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian.

Yates told the jury that her client had admitted liability for the accident.

"The issue in the case is the extent of the injuries," Yates said.

Wallace's only complaint at the doctor's office was of his leg, not his shoulder, she said.

"Mr. Glisson has put up some big numbers in regard to this case," Yates said. "You are not here to punish Amanda. You are here to award damages, and I ask that you do that."

Glisson told the jury Wallace had a torn shoulder.

"Mr. Wallace's credibility is being damaged," Glisson told the jury in his final statement.

The case is Madison County Case number 11-L-20.

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