A Vernon man was awarded $2 million by a Morristown jury for injuries he received when the car he was riding flipped over and hit a tree. Brian Birchenough, 20 years old at the time of the accident, was a passenger in a car driven by Matthew Hurban, another resident of Vernon. Birchenough was represented by attorney Howard Popper.
According to testimony introduced at trial, Birchenough had accompanied Hurban to the Fone Booth Bar in Hardyston in 2006 for what the tavern advertised as “Poker Night.” The bar had a poker game running all night long, with the grand prize winner taking home a color TV. Attorney Popper argued that the “Poker Night” was simply a marketing ploy to get people to come to the bar and drink. Popper also produced evidence showing that Hurban’s BAC (blood alcohol content) was somewhere between .15 and .19 at the time of the crash, approximately twice the legal limit.
Investigators said that Hurban and Birchenough left the bar and traveled about a mile before Hurban failed to negotiate a turn, rolled the vehicle and struck a tree. Birchenough sustained numerous injuries, including a broken nose, leg, ankle and vertebra. He needed surgical implants in his legs, including rods and plates, so that he could walk again. Hurban suffered severe and permanent brain damage.
The jury, in returning its verdict, concluded that Hurban was 65% responsible for the accident and the Fone Booth was 35% liable. Birchenough settled with Hurban before trial for $100,000.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have suffered a personal injury, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.