Bumper-Tap at the Bank: $125K

By Alisa Bralove

The Daily Record (Baltimore, MD) March 25, 2004 Thursday
Copyright 2004 Dolan Media Newswires

A Baltimore County jury has returned a $125,000 verdict to a driver whose car was bumped from behind in the drive-through lane at the Allfirst bank in Dundalk.

According to lawyer Ronald V. Miller Jr., Crystal Williams suffered a herniated disc in the 1999 accident, even though both sides agree that the car behind her was going no faster than one mile an hour.

"She had a baby in the car and the baby didn't wake up," Miller acknowledged. The infant was not injured.

The bumper-tap resulted in no significant damage to either vehicle.

Following a two-and-a-half day trial before Baltimore County Circuit Judge Christian M. Kahl, the jury awarded Williams $113,000 for pain and suffering, with the rest going toward past and future medical bills.

Daniel J. Moore, who represented the defendant Margaret Wilson, declined to comment on the jury's verdict.

Miller, who tried the case along with his partner Laura G. Zois, said yesterday's verdict goes against the typical view that Baltimore County juries tend to be stingy.

"You put the case in front of them in the right way, they'll understand it," he said. "We explained to them it wasn't the impact of the accident. It was the impact on Crystal Williams' life."

He said the verdict was particularly satisfying because they were only offered $15,000 to settle the case.

"My clients were told they were fools not to take that," he said.

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