A State Supreme Court jury has awarded Joseph Virkler, 64, of Baldwinsville, who is disabled, slightly more than the $1.3 million he sought in his damage lawsuit against Steven Shockney, driver of a pickup truck that ran him over Feb. 5, 1988.
The jury Monday unanimously found Shockney negligent because he was driving with a windshield almost completely covered by snow and ice. It awarded Virkler $775,680 for his past pain and suffering and lost earnings and an additional $556,160 for future pain and suffering and lost earnings -- a verdict $30,000 higher than attorney William Lynn had asked jurors to award his client.
Shockney, 31, testified that he did not see Virkler crossing the street but saw a hat hit his windshield, so he stopped his truck and got out. A man was yelling at Shockney that his truck was parked on top of Virkler. said Lynn, but Shockney got back into the truck and backed up. Virkler's left leg was broken in two places and an artery in the leg was cut, Lynn said, adding that Virkler has a steel plate in his leg and will always walk with a limp and require a cane.
Before the trial, the insurance carrier for the defendants offered to settle Virkler's lawsuit for $300,000, Lynn said.