On February 27, 2019, a Dutchess County Jury issued a verdict against the Portland Stoneware Company and their driver, Christopher Pelletier, for a July 11, 2016 crash on Interstate 84. Pelletier was tail-gaiting and caused a 4 car pile-up in a construction zone. Traveling over 50 MPH, the Portland Stoneware truck driver first hit a car driven by Dennis Richmond of Keene, New Hampshire, causing Richmond to enter the median. The truck then struck an SUV driven by Sally DeWinkeleer of North Carolina. The DeWinkeleer vehicle was pushed forward into the rear of the tractor-trailer. The crash caused DeWinkeleer to break her leg, back and sternum. DeWinkeleer required four surgeries, spent nearly 40 days in the hospital and many months rehabilitating.
After a three week trial in Dutchess Supreme Court in front of Justice Rosa, a jury found Portland Stoneware Company fully responsible for the crash and awarded a total verdict of $6,872,00 to Mrs. DeWinkeleer’s for her past and future medical bills as well as for her significant pain and suffering. After the verdict, her lawyer, Michael Feldman of Finkelstein and Partners in Wappingers Falls said, “We asked the jury to hold the trucking company accountable for all the damage they caused to Sally. While we are grateful for the verdict permitting Sally to get the future surgeries her doctors said she will need, we are especially thankful this jury chose to hold the defendant accountable and ignored their efforts to avoid responsibility.” This case was handled by Managing Partner Andrew Finkelstein, Trial Partner Michael Feldman, and Managing Attorney Elyssa Fried-DeRosa.