Springfield man’s verdict overturned in motorcycle-tractor crash caseSPRINGFIELD — The South Dakota State Supreme Court filed an opinion this week stripping a Springfield man of a $500,000 jury award after he was struck by a turning tractor in 2009.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
SPRINGFIELD — The South Dakota State Supreme Court filed an opinion this week stripping a Springfield man of a $500,000 jury award after he was struck by a turning tractor in 2009.
John Walter, who may have been under the influence of alcohol while riding his motorcycle at the time of the accident, will need a retrial in the case if he hopes to receive any money for the accident.
The opinion stated that Walter’s lawyers misled the jury in a trial against the driver of the tractor, John Fuks, last year by implying that Walter wasn’t impaired at all because he wasn’t prosecuted for a DUI.
The opinion stated, “Walter was clearly prohibited from broaching, through testimony or otherwise, the fact that he was not charged criminally,” the ruling said.
“By disclosing he was not prosecuted for DUI, he was able to suggest to the jury that law enforcement authorities had effectively resolved the issue whether he was driving under the influence.”
Walter and his friend were on a poker run on May 19, 2009, when the accident happened and admitted to drinking beers at several bars along the way.
The accident happened south of Tabor.
The trial jury awarded Walters $520,754, which Fuks appealed.