Judge denies summary judgment in motor vehicle accident involving postal worker

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 23, 2009, 8:22am

TEXARKANA � U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes denied defendant's motion for partial summary judgment in lawsuit stemming from a 2002 motor vehicle accident.

The incident occurred when a mail truck exited an alleyway and struck the vehicle in which the plaintiff was riding.

The defendant's denied motion alleged that the plaintiff's injuries did not occur as a result of the accident but were preexisting.

Under the Federal Tort Claims Act, Jessie J. Harris filed the original suit against the United States of America on Feb. 1, 2007, in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas.

Harris asserts that as a result of the postal worker's actions he sustained cervical spine injuries and eventually required cervical disk fusion surgery. Harris's doctor opined that accident aggravated pre-existing arthritis.

Attorneys' for the U.S. Postal Service maintain that the accident was not the direct cause of Harris' injuries. The defendant's experts reviewed Harris' medical records and concluded that his injuries are a result of degenerative joint disease and were present before the accident occurred.

Judge Barnes wrote that the Court would not attempt to determine which doctor's testimony is more credible.

Harris is seeking more than $800,000 in damages for medical expenses and lost wages.

The plaintiff is represented by Texarkana attorney John F. Stroud, III.

Currently, trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 28.

Case No 4:07cv04006

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