My client suffered a knee injury while blocking traffic for a construction site in Clayton. His construction crew was lifting heavy materials with a large crane on to one of the upper floors of a Clayton highrise. They obtained a permit to prevent traffic from entering the road while using the crane. My client was stationed at the intersection to prevent cars from driving up near the crane while it was in use.
A wealthy retired insurance company executive driving a luxury Mercedes attempted to turn into the street that my client was blocking off. My client told the individual that no traffic was permitted while the construction site was active. This should have been obvious to any reasonable driver. The executive told my client that he did not care if the road was blocked off, the entrance to the parking garage of his apartment was only a short distance from where they were, and he was going to drive there no matter what.
After words were exchanged, the executive proceeded to use his Mercedes to PUSH my client out of his way. The front bumper of the Mercedes made contact with my client's knee, hyperextending his knee and causing bruising. There was multiple witnesses on the construction crew who either saw or heard my client scream after being hit.
Ultimately, the driver of the Mercedes drove off. He went around the crane by using a side street, as he was supposed to do all along, and entered the parking garage. One of the crew members spotted his car entering the parking garage and identified it as the car that had just hit my client. A few of the members on the construction team entered the garage and found the Mercedes parked in one of the spots. They called the police to report what happened.
At his deposition, the executive told us that he took the mayor and the chief of police out to lunch during the days after the incident to complain about having been arrested. It must have worked as the prosecutor dropped the assault charge against the executive. Before he did that, I made sure to have the prosecutor obtain the executive's auto insurance policy information and send it to us.
The insurance company replied to our original demand with zero ($0.00) offer. The executive denied ever touching my client with his Mercedes. We filed a lawsuit and reached a settlement after taking the parties depositions. I think the lawyer for the other side could tell that this executive was probably lying when he said he did not touch my client. His behavior during the deposition unfolded the way you see in court room TV dramas. When asked if he had a criminal history, which the police report indicated he had a DUI years ago, he became very upset at "using his name in the same sentence as crimes." His name is on several buildings in the St. Louis area, including on one of the buildings at a downtown hospital. I assume he believed donating money placed him on a higher moral ground than he actually stood.
We negotiated the $50,000 settlement after the depositions. We also settled a worker's compensation claim. I am grateful to have helped such a hard working and honest client.