Drunk's attempt to reduce non-economic damages to pedestrian is rejected
Jesse Spica was struck and badly hurt by a car driven by Kevin Schrotenboer in the early morning hours of June 26. Spica was walking alongside the road, "in the weeds," when Schrotenboer hit him on Shcrotenboer's drive home from the bar where he was a karaoke operator. Schrotenboer's blood alcohol was .10, while Spica's was even higher. Spica filed a lawsuit which Schrotenboer ignored and did not answer. A default was entered and ultimately a default judgment in the amount of $750,000.00.
Schrotenboer then attempted to set aside the judgment and appealed the trial judge's failure to allow him to set it aside. The Court of Appeals found no merit in the defendant's allegations of error. He had failed to provide evidence of either a "meritorious defense" or "good cause" for ignoring the initial summons and complaint. Furthermore, the court held that the trial judge did not err or inappropriately speculate in his valuation of Spica's present and future pain and suffering, given the medical evidence.