On Dec. 15, 2000, Patrick Broderick was driving southbound on Schoolhouse Road when icy conditions caused him to lose control of his car. His vehicle came to a rest on a snow bank on the east side of the road. A good Samaritan stopped at the scene to help Broderick, parking his car in the northbound lane of traffic. Supposedly, the good Samaritan’s hazard lights were on and working, but that fact was disputed.
Caroline Semanic was traveling northbound on Schoolhouse Road when she approached the scene. Semanic said she saw no flashing headlights on the good Samaritan’s vehicle and testified under oath that she saw only tail lights that she thought were attached to a moving vehicle. Semanic’s car slid into the good Samaritan’s car while attempting to avoid crashing into that parked car, pushing the vehicle into the plaintiff Broderick, who was standing in the roadway with his back to northbound traffic.
Broderick maintained that the force of the impact caused him to be thrown 75 feet. The thrust of the impact resulted in a closed head injury, mild traumatic brain injury and soft tissue neck injury. Broderick claimed that he now has impaired cognitive function, loss of prior math skills, inability to concentrate, memory deficits, altered personality, word-finding difficulties, post-traumatic stress disorder, inability to follow directions, chronic insomnia, increased flare ups of temper, headaches, neck pain and depression. He is currently working as a fraud analyst.