In Million-Dollar Car Collision Trial, Credibility Challenge Yields Defense Verdict

Posted by Arlin Crisco on Apr 16, 2015 9:55:00 AM


Nicholas Maniotis tells jurors that evidence does not support James Allen's claim that he suffers from "10 out of 10" pain stemming from a car accident with Maniotis' client Dale Buckner.

West Palm Beach, FL—Jurors Friday cleared Dale Buckner of the back injuries James Allen says left him in constant pain after a 2012 late-night wreck on I-95.  Allen v. Buckner, 2012CA021693.

Click Here FREE Florida Trial Video Samples The verdict concluded a four-day trial in which Allen sought more than $1 million in total damages for the disc herniation he claims he suffered when Buckner struck his car with his pickup truck.

Jurors needed less than four hours to reach their decision.

Allen’s credibility was a central issue at trial. Although Buckner acknowledged his negligence for the accident, which occurred when he ran a stop sign and struck Allen’s car, he challenged the legitimacy of Allen’s injury claims. During closing statements Friday, Buckner’s attorney, Nicholas Maniotis, of Flanagan, Maniotis & Berger, reminded jurors that Allen did not seek medical treatment for more than a month after the accident. “Who in the world doesn’t go to the doctor for 34 days if he really got an injury?” Maniotis asked the jury. “Do not outsmart your own common sense.”

Maniotis also noted that Allen's description of his pain as "10 out of 10" did not coincide with either medical imaging of his back or footage of Allen during his daily, post-accident activities. "You saw on the film he's walking and moving normally, getting in and out of cars normally," Maniotis reminded jurors. "There wasn't (anyone) with 10 out of 10 pain, or 7 out of 10 pain. (Allen) was a normal human being walking around."

However, Allen’s attorney, Spencer Kuvin, of the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb, argued many of the statements Maniotis challenged, including Allen’s failure to seek prompt medical attention were explained by various family problems Allen dealt with at the time of the accident. “This youg man was worried more about the other people in his life at that time then himself,” Kuvin said. “He was busy taking care of his mother, of his grandmother, of his wife because of what she was going through. That evidence shows you what (Allen) was made of.”

Maniotis concluded by telling jurors that they could find Buckner was not liable for Allen’s damage and “walk out of here and never give this case a second thought, and do it with a clean conscience.”

“The evidence is there for you to completely disbelieve this gentleman,” Maniotis said.  

Additional information

Attorneys in the case include Spencer Kuvin, representing James Allen, and Nicholas Maniotis, representing Dale Buckner. 

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Topics: Negligence, Florida, Allen v. Buckner