On Thursday, January 31st, a Kennebec County Superior Court jury awarded an Aroostook County woman $525,000 on her claim against State Farm Insurance Company. The woman, Lynne Porter, 56, of Patten, was injured on January 16, 2009, when her pick-up truck was rear-ended on Route 1 in Houlton. Porter was driving her elderly father home from the hospital when an unknown driver drove through a stop sign on a side street directly into Porter’s path. Porter stopped quickly to avoid colliding with the car, but a SUV driven by Sheila Murchie skidded into the back of Porter’s truck. The collision caused Porter to suffer injuries to her back, which eventually caused her to become permanently disabled from work.
At trial, State Farm disputed that Porter’s injuries were related to the car accident. Following a three day trial in Augusta, the jury found that State Farm was liable for the negligence of both Murchie and the unknown driver, and awarded her $525,000 in compensation. Porter was represented by Attorney James O’Connell of the law firm Berman & Simmons.