Jury awards $155,000 to Rockport man injured in motorcycle crash

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 10:45am

    ROCKLAND — A Rockport man who sustained multiple injuries in 2012 when his motorcycle collided with a truck hauling a trailer was awarded $155,000 by nine jurors who voted unanimously on the verdict Nov. 19.

    Justice Daniel Billings presided over the trial in Knox County Superior Court that took three days with a fourth day for jury deliberation.

    Anthony Johnson, of Rockport, filed the lawsuit in December 2013 in Knox County Superior Court. The defendants named in the suit were George C. Hall and Sons, Inc., of Rockland, and James Hall of Owls Head, who was the driver of the truck and trailer in the crash. 

    According to the court document, on July 2, 2012, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Johnson was traveling along Old County Road in Rockland on his motorcycle through a driving rainstorm. He was not wearing rain gear, goggles or a helmet.

    Hall was traveling in the opposite direction with a trailer attached to his truck. He was driving below the posted speed of 35 mph speed limit due to the weather conditions since visibility was reduced. Hall turned onto Belvedere Road and used his left directional signal, but turned left across the road in decreased visibility and could not see Johnson, who was unable to avoid colliding with the tractor trailer as it turned into his path. Johnson tapped on the breaks, but the bike hydroplaned, hit the trailer, and he was thrown 180 feet from his motorcycle.

    Johnson admitted he may have been riding as fast as 55 mph before the crash. The speed limit was 35 mph, according to the court document.

    Johnson was initially treated at Penobscot Bay Medical Center and then transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center. His injuries included a back fracture, broken jaw, knee injury resulting in a knee replacement, right ankle fracture, right shoulder injury requiring two follow-up surgeries, a concussion, and cuts and bruises.

    The jurors awarded $238,950 in total damages to Johnson but reduced the damages by $83,630 to reflect that he had admitted a share of the fault for the collision since he was speeding, according to the court document.

    Johnson’s attorney, James O’Connell of the Berman and Simmons law firm in Portland, said in a news release that his client was happy with the result and appreciative of the careful and hard work of the jury.

    George C. Hall and Sons and the driver, James Hall, were represented by Jonathan Brogan of Norman Hanson Detroy in Portland.

    Sarah Shepherd can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com