Thomas and Moser Obtain Favorable Jury Verdict; Plaintiff Failed to Mitigate Damages

Posted on: December 11th, 2015

Attorneys Mark Thomas and Joseph Moser obtained a favorable jury verdict in a complex matter stemming from a March 2012 car accident near Ottumwa, Iowa. The accident occurred when the Defendant, Winfred Douglass, pulled out in front of the Plaintiffs’, Dennis and Lauren Cockayne’s, vehicle, which was traveling at approximately 70 miles per hour. The impact resulted in Mr. Douglass’s death and injuries to the Plaintiffs. Defendants admitted liability for the accident and injuries related thereto. The question in the case, however, arose from Plaintiff Dennis Cockayne’s allegation that the accident caused a small cut on his large toe, which, over the course of 70 days after the accident, became infected, gangrenous, and ultimately required the amputation of his leg, below the knee. Defendants denied responsibility for the loss of Plaintiff Dennis Cockayne’s leg and all damages related thereto.

A 4-day jury trial was held in the Iowa District Court for Polk County. Thomas and Moser put forth evidence demonstrating Plaintiff Dennis Cockayne failed to mitigate his damages by consciously ignoring the infection in his toe. They argued Plaintiff acted unreasonably, waiting until his foot had turned black before seeking medical treatment. The jury returned a verdict agreeing with Thomas and Moser, awarding only for injuries directly related to the accident and for which Defendants had admitted liability.  Cockayne, et. al. v. Estate of Winfred Douglass, et al., Polk County Case No. LACL128600.


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