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Jury awards $110K to woman in car crash

A Baltimore woman has won a $110,000 verdict in Baltimore City Circuit Court against her car insurance company and the uninsured man who hit her vehicle.

In a lawsuit, Beverly Tucker, a former social worker for Baltimore, alleged that she suffered mental and physical pain in an accident on Sept. 22, 2008, when her car was T-boned while traveling north on Loch Raven Boulevard at Argonne Road.

Tucker alleged that Thomas Phillips, the driver of the other vehicle, failed to look for vehicles slowing in the roadway, obey traffic signals and maintain proper control over his vehicle.

Her attorney, Howard M. Grossfeld, a Baltimore solo practitioner, said she suffered fractured ribs and soft tissue damage in the accident.

She sought $300,000 in compensatory damages from Phillips, who had been driving a vehicle registered to Alison Lee Phillips. Neither Thomas Phillips nor Alison Lee Phillips had auto insurance at the time of the accident.

Tucker initially sued both Phillipses, but later dropped Alison Lee Phillips as a defendant in the case.

Tucker sought $100,000 in damages from her own insurer, State Farm Insurance Co., based on her policy, which covered her for accidents with uninsured and underinsured motorists. According to the suit, the policy said Tucker would be legally entitled to money from State Farm in the case of an accident with a motorist with inadequate or no insurance.

The suit alleged that State Farm would not provide Tucker with adequate compensation for her damages. Her policy limit was $100,000.

An attorney for State Farm, Towson solo Kyle Blakeley, did not respond to requests for comment.

Grossfeld said the insurer did cover costs associated with her totaled car separate from the suit.

State Farm filed a cross claim in the case, denying that Tucker had any right to recover damages. The insurer said that if Tucker won damages that Thomas Phillips was legally obligated to pay, it would be entitled to judgment against him.

In December, a jury awarded Tucker $110,000 against State Farm and Phillips.

Tucker, who retired in 2010 because “it was hard for her to carry on her load,” Grossfeld said, received $26,000 for past loss of earnings. She received $14,000 for past medical expenses and $70,000 in non-economic damages.

Grossfeld said State Farm has paid Tucker $100,000.

TUCKER V. STATE FARM INSURANCE CO., ET AL.

Court:

Baltimore City Circuit Court

Case No.:

24C09004085

Proceeding:

Jury Trial

Judge:

Evelyn Omega Cannon

Outcome:

Plaintiff

Award:

$110,000

Dates:

Incident: Sept. 22, 2008

Suit filed: June 29, 2009

Disposition: December 16, 2010

Plaintiff’s Attorneys:

Howard M. Grossfeld, solo attorney in Baltimore, and Richard Winelander, solo attorney in Baltimore

Defense Attorney:

Kyle Blakeley, Towson solo attorney

Count:

Negligence, Breach of contract