“What I appreciated most about Greg was his genuine concern. He did a great job of staying in communication with me. He was never too busy to meet with me and take my calls. That in itself meant a lot.”
For McHugh, a retired high school principal, his attorney’s belief in him was important. Because other than his wife, Greg Zeuthen was about the only one who had faith in McHugh’s version of how things must have transpired on October 7, 1999.
A routine run turns into a catastrophe.
On that day, McHugh was running along a familiar loop of a highway when a car plowed into him. He didn’t see anything. In fact, he had no memory of the car hitting him. Everything he or anyone knew about the incident came from the woman who had been driving the car. Her story was that the jogger had been going down the middle of the road, with his back to the car. She said that when she tried to pass him, he darted in front of her; she couldn’t avoid hitting him.
“Greg believed in me,” recalls Pete McHugh. “He could see I was being truthful.”
For McHugh, the story didn’t wash. Things were fuzzy – he had suffered brain concussion and a skull fracture as a result of the collision – but he knew himself well enough to know something was amiss. He had been running this same loop fairly regularly for 20 years. He always ran on the left side of the road, facing the oncoming traffic. McHugh knew in his heart the collision was not his fault.
A trial and an $822,000 award
He heard about Greg Zeuthen from a neighbor and asked Zeuthen to represent him. “From the start, Greg picked up the ball and ran with it.”
On July 31, 2001, the case went to trial. Zeuthen was able to convince the jury the driver was not telling the truth. At the close of the three-day trial, jurors awarded McHugh $822,000 in compensation.
McHugh remains impressed, “What I appreciated most about Greg was his genuine concern. He did a great job of staying in communication with me. He was never too busy to meet with me and take my calls. That in itself meant a lot.”