News & Publications

ZK Results – Win in the Pennsylvania Superior Court for Attorney John W. Zotter

On October 28, 2019, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in favor of a Zimmer Kunz client represented by Shareholder, John W. Zotter.  The lawsuit filed in Westmoreland County arose out of an accident wherein the Plaintiff, a pedestrian, was struck by the front of the Defendant’s vehicle.  The lawsuit included a claim for punitive damages with a pre-trial settlement demand of $1,000,000.  At trial, Plaintiff contended that he was struck while crossing the street in a cross-walk and that the Defendant violated the Assured Clear Distance Ahead Rule.  The Defendant asserted that the Plaintiff was not in a cross-walk and entered the roadway in a manner that gave rise to a sudden emergency for the Defendant.  At trial, the Court charged the jury on both the Sudden Emergency Doctrine and the Assured Clear Distance Ahead Rule.  Following deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Defendant finding that the Defendant was not negligent.  Thereafter, Plaintiff filed post-trial motions asserting that the Court improperly charged the jury on the Sudden Emergency Doctrine.  The post-trial motions were denied and Plaintiff appealed to the Superior Court.  In response to the appeal, it was asserted in the Defendant’s Brief and at oral argument that while the jury was properly charged at trial, Plaintiff’s attorney failed to properly object at trial to the Sudden Emergency Doctrine being given to the jury.  The Superior Court affirmed the trial Court and unanimously held that the Plaintiff’s attorney failed to properly object to the Sudden Emergency Charge being given to the jury.  John W. Zotter argued before the Superior Court and was assisted in the preparation of the Brief by Zimmer Kunz attorney, Dara A. DeCourcy.