ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of civil jury trial rights as well as professionalism and upholding ethics. In Maine, there is only a small group of attorneys who have been invited into this society. Qualification requirements are rigorous and invitees must be approved before membership is offered.
Martica Douglas and Deb Buccina Have Been Winning Jury Trials
Last March Martica represented the driver of a vehicle involved in a fatal motorcycle crash. The deceased biker skidded out of control coming around a sharp curve in the road. A biker who had been following the deceased got caught up in the accident as it was unfolding. He sustained multiple serious injuries and as a result was living in pain and was permanently disabled from work. He brought suit against the Estate of the deceased biker and Martica’s client, who was coming around the curve in the opposite direction. The plaintiff’s lawyer alleged that Martica’s client was on the yellow line as he came around the curve, and was therefore at least 1% at fault. The Oxford county jury awarded $1.8 million to the injured biker, but found that liability rested entirely with the deceased biker. Martica’s client was found to be free of fault.
More recently, in September, Martica represented an automobile insurer against a claim for uninsured motorist benefits. The plaintiff contended that he had been struck by a uninsured operator, and that the impact caused him to strike his head against the driver’s window. He claimed ongoing headache and balance problems. Plaintiff’s expert neurologist testified that these problems were caused by the trauma sustained in the accident and in all likelihood would continue to plague him throughout his life The damage to Plaintiff’s car was minimal. Martica argued that Plaintiff was not injured in the accident. The York County jury agreed, returning a verdict for the insurer.
In October, Deb tried a case to jury conclusion in which she represented the driver of a vehicle in which the Plaintiff was a back seat passenger. Deb’s client was pulling out of a street-side parking spot when a second vehicle, traveling down the street, collided with the vehicle in which the Plaintiff was seated. The jury took only twenty minutes to return a defense verdict in favor of the drivers.
Martica also won a recent victory in the Maine Law Court. In Langevin v. Allstate, the Court ruled that the defendant homeowners’ insurer (Martica’s client) did not have to defend its former insureds in an action filed against them by the buyers of their residence, who claimed that the insureds negligently failed to disclose the property’s prior use as an auto junkyard. The court’s decision held:
- Damages for loss of investment do not constitute “property damage”;
- Physical problems with property did not result from occurrence alleged in complaint; and
- Policy’s definition of “bodily injury” did not include emotional distress.
See Langevin v. Allstate Ins. Co., 66 A.3d 585 (Me.,2013)