Verdict for Victim Hit by Red-light Runner
Joe Cerniglia, 39, stopped at the traffic light at N. 68th Street and W. Bluemound Road in Wauwatosa. While he waited, another vehicle pulled up next to him on the left, to use the left turn lane.
When the light turned green, that vehicle to his left pulled forward with him, blocking his view of the traffic to his left. Witnessing the defendant run the red light, the vehicle to Cerniglia’s left stopped abruptly, leaving Cerniglia’s vehicle exposed while in the path of the oncoming defendant.
The heavy impact caused Cerniglia to suffer a head and shoulder injury.
Although Cerniglia would recover from the head injury, the injury to his shoulder began to interfere with his job as a self-employed painter.
Unable to hold his arms above his head for extended periods of time, Cerniglia was forced to quit his job for a period of time.
With medical bills mounting and the defendants insurance refusing to pay his claim, attorney Kalkhoff took Cerniglia’s case to trial.
During the trial, the defense counsel argued that Cerniglia’s injuries were consistent with his job as a painter. However, using the testimony of an orthopaedic surgeon, attorney Kalkhoff was able to prove that Mr. Cerniglia’s injuries were, in fact, a direct result of the accident.
The defense also argued that Cerniglia was the one who was at fault.
At the conclusion of the two-and-a-half-day trial, the jury rejected the defense arguments and awarded Mr. Cerniglia with a verdict of $275,000. The verdict was more than twice as much as offered by the insurance company right before the trial.
The case was tried in the courtroom of the Honorable Dennis P. Moroney in Milwaukee County.