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Multi-Million-Dollar Auto Crash Verdict Decision Upheld

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In a case that contained both tragedy and an interesting legal issue, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s decision that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee must pay almost $23 million in a judgment to a man who was severely injured in a crash several years ago.  The story was reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

“On March 25, 2002, Hjalmer Heikkinen’s car was struck by a car driven by Margaret Morse, a member of Christ King Parish in Wauwatosa. She was transporting a statue of the Virgin Mary to a family in a different parish as part of a program conducted by the Christ King Legion of Mary, the parish’s branch of a service organization.

Morse went through a red light and struck the car Heikkinen was driving. Heikkinen, then a semiretired barber living in Milwaukee, suffered severe injuries that left him a quadriplegic. Later, one of his legs was amputated. He is unable to feed or otherwise care for himself. He is now 84 and living in West Allis.

Heikkinen sued Morse and her insurance company, the United Services Automobile Association.

Morse, in turn, brought a third-party complaint against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and its insurer, which provided coverage for the archdiocese and the parish.

The key question before the court was whether Morse was covered by Catholic Mutual.”

Although the Supreme Court was technically deadlocked on the decision, Wisconsin law states that in this situation, the lower court’s decision will stand.  If you have been injured in an auto accident, contact a Waukesha personal injury lawyer at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® today to schedule a free initial consultation.