On May 16 a Washington County Circuit Court jury rendered a $339,104 verdict in Patton v. Hilpert.

The case involved a car wreck at the Sonic in Leland, MS. The defendant pulled over on the left side of the Sonic Drive-In exit before attempting to exit the driveway to throw away trash in the garbage can. At the same time, the plaintiff drove her vehicle along the right side of the defendant’s vehicle to make a right turn onto Highway 82. The defendant did not see the plaintiff’s vehicle immediately to his right and turned directly into the plaintiff, causing minor damage to her vehicle.

Liability was disputed despite the defendant admitting that he never saw plaintiff’s vehicle.

Plaintiff suffered a high grade partial tear of her left shoulder which led to three surgeries, six percent impairment rating, $80,871 in medical bills, and $8,233.32 in mileage expense.

The defendant disputed causation based on the minor impact. Plaintiff’s primary treating physician related the tear to the accident.

The jury deliberated for an hour and fifteen minutes before returning its verdict.

Ted Connell and Charlie Merkel with Merkel and Cocke in Clarksdale represented the plaintiff. Brandon Dorsey of Jackson represented the defendant.

Judge Richard Smith presided.