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Police officer awarded $1.3 million from car accident

W-B policeman was injured in 2004 crash on Old River Road.

By DAVID WEISS dweiss@timesleader.com

“The jury was courageous and gave a true and just verdict.”
Neil T. O’Donnell Plaintiff’s attorney

WILKES-BARRE – A Luzerne County jury has awarded a city police officer and his wife more than $1.3 million for injuries the officer suffered in a 2004 collision.

Officer Brian K. Horst was on duty when he was responding to a call Jan. 21, 2004, with the emergency lights activated on his vehicle.
According to previously published reports, Horst was southbound on Old River Road behind a 1995 Dodge Neon driven by William Oram of Wilkes-Barre.

Oram pulled to the right side of the roadway and Horst attempted to pass the vehicle on the left side of the roadway, police said.
That’s when Oram “made an improper left turn” and struck Horst’s cruiser, t he officer’s attorney, Neil T. O’Donnell, said.
Horst suffered neck and left arm injuries, O’Donnell said, and had to undergo surgery that involved placing a titanium plate in his neck.
He remains under the care of numerous physicians and has been unsuccessful in several attempts to return to work, O’Donnell said.
Horst, a 17-year veteran of the force at the time of the wreck, and his wife, Joann, the parents of seven children, filed suit against Oram. Oram died later last year.

The suit made it to trial last week before Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Ciavarella.
Oram was insured by Nationwide Insurance Co. and his estate was defended by Cardoni and Associates.
The jury rendered its verdict late Friday afternoon, finding Oram negligent in causing the wreck and Horst’s injuries.

The jury awarded the following damages to Horst:

• $185,000 for physical pain and suffering
• $57,000 for past medical expenses
• $100,000 for future medical expenses
• $109,000 for past wage losses
• $750,000 for future impairment of earning capacity

The jury also awarded Joann Horst $100,000 for loss of consortium.

“The jury was courageous and gave a true and just verdict,” O’Donnell said. “The collision caused severe harm and losses to the Horst family, and the jury did the right thing in this case.”

A message left with Cardoni was not returned Monday.

O'Donnell Law Offices

Author: O’Donnell Law Offices

O’Donnell Law Offices
267 Wyoming Ave.
Kingston, PA 18704

E-Mail: contact@odonnell-law.com
Phone: (570) 821-5717
Fax: (570) 821-5799