Southeast Texas Record

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

JC jurors place 100 percent of the blame on pedestrian who sued after being sideswiped


By David Yates | Nov 13, 2019


BEAUMONT – A woman claiming she was sideswiped while walking along the side of the road is 100 percent responsible for any injuries she suffered, a Jefferson County jury recently concluded.

Seeking up to $1 million in damages, Joan Jagana filed suit against Susie Bowman Cormier on Feb. 6, 2017.

Nearly two years earlier, on June 25, 2015, Jagana claims she was walking north down Concord when Bowman’s Toyota Corolla, which was also traveling north, “collided with” her.

The case was called up for trial on Nov. 4 and ended two days later with jurors finding that Jagana (the plaintiff) was 100 percent negligent in causing the occurrence in question, according to the charge of the court.

No damages were awarded to Jagana.

During the trial, Bowman (the defendant) testified that the wheels on her vehicle never left the pavement, even when she pulled over after apparently striking Jagana.  

As Bowman passed Jagana, the side mirror of the Corolla hit Jagana’s left arm and knocked a purse off of her shoulder, prompting Bowman to stop and render aid out of concern, according to her testimony.

Bowman testified that she asked Jagana if she was okay, to which she answered yes.

“I (said) ‘are you sure,’” Bowman testified. “‘Would you like me to take you to the ER?’ I asked that several times. She told me ‘No.’ She said ‘I just have to go right up the street here (to) the daycare. Once I get there, I will put some ice on it.’

“That’s what she told me.”

Bowman’s testimony continued to place more blame on Jagana, who was allegedly walking close to the road and with her back turned to traffic.  

A police officer inspected Bowman’s vehicle following the incident and found no damage to the car, including the side mirror, or any evidence that it had left the road.

During cross examination, Bowman testified that she did not feel it was important to tell the investigating officer that she had looked down for a split second right before the incident occurred, as she was returning a cup to the cup holder.

Bowman maintained that she was not looking down when the incident occurred and that she remembered seeing Jagana’s purse falling off her shoulder as her vehicle’s side mirror struck the woman’s arm.

Jagana was seeking damages for her alleged past and future medical expenses, pain and impairment.

Attorney Matthew Menter of the Daspit Law Firm in Houston represents her.

Bowman is represented by attorney Pam Rea of the Houston law firm of Susan L. Florence & Associates.

Judge Mitch Templeton, 172nd District Court, presided over the case.

Filed in Jefferson County District Court, case No. E199564.

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Organizations in this Story

Daspit Law FirmJefferson County District Court

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