Passenger thrown from motorcycle when driver mishandles turn

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Case in Point

November 23, 2010

Passenger thrown from motorcycle when driver mishandles turn 

The plaintiff—who suffered fractures to her spine, ribs, jaw, and left arm and leg—sued the driver’s insurer, alleging that he was negligent in failing to properly control the motorcycle on a curve. The parties settled for $1.05 million shortly after suit was filed. Hoffmann v. Am. Fam. Ins. Co.

Karen Hoffmann, 44, was a passenger on a motorcycle being driven by her husband. When they came to a curve in the highway, he lost control of the bike, which went off the road and hit a ditch. Hoffmann was thrown from the motorcycle.

She suffered fractures to her spine, ribs, jaw, and left arm and leg. Her past medical expenses totaled about $398,600, and her future anticipated medical expenses are estimated at $150,000. Hoffmann was not employed at the time of the incident but had worked previously as a registered nurse. She now suffers from decreased stamina, which will limit her future job possibilities.

Hoffmann sued her husband’s insurer, American Family Insurance, alleging that he was negligent in failing to properly control the motorcycle on the curve.

The plaintiff claimed lost future earnings of about $6,000, which the defendant disputed.

The parties settled for $1.05 million shortly after suit was filed.

Citation: Hoffmann v. Am. Fam. Ins. Co., No. 10 CV 4033 (Wis., Dane Co. Cir. Sept. 15, 2010).

Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Timothy S. Trecek, Milwaukee.

Plaintiff expert: Kevin L. Schutz, vocational rehabilitation, Madison, Wisconsin.


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