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ZK Results – Attorney Anthony J.G. Hassey, Secures Defense Verdict in Allegheny County Arbitration Case

On February 22, 2022, Zimmer Kunz attorney, Anthony J.G. Hassey won at arbitration in the matter of State Farm v. Olsakovsky, after Plaintiff’s counsel declined to settle the matter for the policy limits.  In the early morning hours of March 7, 2019, Defendant’s vehicle died, due to a faulty alternator, on a dark, remote part of Rt. 30 in North Versailles, PA. Due to ongoing construction, Jersey Barriers lined the road and Defendant could not remove the vehicle from the roadway. A passerby stopped and offered Defendant a ride to a gas station so that he could safely call for help.

While Defendant was at the gas station, Plaintiff’s insured collided with Defendant’s vehicle.  Plaintiff’s insured claimed that it was Defendant’s failure to turn on his hazard lights after abandoning his vehicle in the middle of the road that caused of the accident.  Plaintiff’s insured alleged that by the time he saw Defendant’s vehicle it was too late to take any evasive action to avoid the collision.

The focus of the defense case at arbitration was three-fold:  (1) Defendant did everything in his power that he could have done to make his vehicle safe; (2) a driver acting reasonably would have had enough time to see his vehicle and safely maneuver around it like several cars had; and (3) Plaintiff’s insured was not operating his car in a reasonable manner that would have allowed him to avoid a collision.  Ultimately, the arbitration panel agreed with the defense and awarded a defense verdict.