TRIAL WIN | Jury Awards Damages to Endurance Athlete Injured in Crash

On July 12, 2023, a Kalamazoo County jury returned a verdict in favor of Smith Haughey’s clients, Jeff and Kate George.  

Back in 2019, an older driver hit Jeff while he was bicycling. He suffered a knee laceration, road rash, a broken wrist bone, and a concussion. While the physical injuries eventually resolved, Jeff continued to experience symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. As an endurance athlete, he routinely rode in excess of 50 miles. As a result of the post-concussive syndrome and trauma-induced depression, Jeff was unable to return to his precrash level of performance.  

The driver’s insurer denied liability for the crash and, instead, blamed Jeff. It also denied that his injuries met the threshold necessary to recover damages. After the driver was deposed, the insurance company admitted liability. Later, the court ruled that Jeff’s injuries met the threshold, and he was entitled to damages. When the case went to trial, the only question left for the jury was: what amount of damages do the Georges deserve? 

After two days of trial in a sweltering courtroom, Chris Berry, assisted by Michaela Cope, obtained a six-figure verdict in favor of Jeff and Kate. The verdict went far beyond the award suggested by the defense counsel and any settlement offer before trial.   

Smith Haughey was proud to represent Jeff and Kate and to help them hold the driver’s insurance company accountable.


Smith Haughey’s attorneys advocate for individuals and families in many types of personal injury and wrongful death cases.