Richard Mincer and Mandy Good recently obtained summary judgment for a transportation company client in a personal injury case. Plaintiffs originally claimed the truck struck them while they were riding ATVs down a Wyoming highway. Both the Plaintiff and Defense accident reconstructionists concluded the truck did not come in to contact with the ATVS. Plaintiff’s expert then came up with a new theory that a wind gust or vortex caused by the passing tractor trailer caused the ATV riders to lose control and crash.

Plaintiffs claimed approximately $200,000 in past medical bills and a variety of other past and future damage claims, including lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life. Plaintiffs agreed to drop their punitive damage and direct negligence claims against the trucking company in an amended complaint. Defense counsel then briefed and argued a motion for summary judgment, contending that because there was no contact between the company’s tractor trailer and the Plaintiffs’ ATVs, the client did not breach any duty owed to the plaintiffs and did not cause this accident. The Court agreed holding that the driver of a tractor-trailer traveling on a state highway at “the proper speed” does not breach a duty of reasonable care because he fails to mitigate the wind effect of his vehicle. As such, the Court ruled from the bench in favor of Hirst Applegate’s client.