In Atlanta, Georgia an Automobile Accident involving at least one (1) Drunk Driver that caused the Wrongful Death of a young lady settles out of court and prior to trial for over $ 4.3 Million Dollars

toddler-and-mom-feet-1442012-mOn July 20, 2013, at approximately 1:00 a.m., Carlos Ashley and his soon to be bride, Adrianna Barron, were returning to their home in Henry County, Georgia from a premarital counseling session in Atlanta, Georgia when traveling on Interstate 75/85. On that same fateful night, Jeremy Crawley was also driving on Interstate 75/85, although he was drunk, when he hit the retaining wall and went across five (5) lanes of traffic before coming to a stop that was perpendicular to the highway. Three (3) of the four (4) cars that were behind Crawley were able to stop.

The fourth (4th) car (car # 4), however, was not able to stop.  Car # 4 hit the last car in line (car #3), the car that carried Carlos Ashley and Adrianna Barron; Carlos was driving and Adrianna was his passenger.  Then the car that carried Mr. Ashley and Ms. Barron (car # 3) hit the car in front of them (car # 2).  Subsequently, car # 2 hit the first car that was able to stop (car # 1). The drivers of car # 1 and car # 2 were not severely injured in the crash.

Carlos Ashley and Adrianna Barron would not be so fortunate in car # 3.  Car # 3 was hit by car # 4 and it also hit car # 2.  Carlos Ashley suffered a serious injury in the crash and was taken to the hospital.

Adrianna Barron, only 23 years old at the time, would suffer an occipital dislocation at the base of her skull.  The injury would be described by experts as an internal beheading of which Ms. Barron was most likely aware, that resulted in her tragic and untimely death at the scene of the accident.  Adrianna would leave behind a young child, her son, whom she shared with Mr. Ashley.

It is truly a senseless and tragic event when a mother and child lose one and other in such a manner.  Ms. Barron’s young son will never know his mother, and his mother lost all those moments in life from her wedding day, to seeing her son off to his first day of school, and to being there with her family for all those moments in life in which we all treasure.

Crawley and the driver of car # 4, Hollis Floyd, were both charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and first-degree homicide, among other traffic violations.

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The Family who would not back down to GM for an Ignition Defect that killed their Daughter will be honored by the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

justice-388623-mAlthough it is still not the norm, we are beginning to see families who have lost loved ones in accidents involving vehicles, pharmaceuticals, or other products with product liability defects stand up to the companies who are involved in the manufacturing and otherwise of such products, and not settle for amounts in either class action suits or otherwise. I have blogged about two (2) such extraordinary examples recently.

One blog being about the family of a four year old who was killed in a gas tank explosion who decided to take the case to trial whereby the jury awarded $ 150 Million Dollars to the family for the Wrongful Death of their precious son. The other case was the case of Beth and Ken Melton who took General Motors to the mat when their daughter was killed due to an ignition defect.

In the Melton case, it was further discovered that GM knew of the defect and further tried to cover it up . Chrysler, who was held responsible for the death of the four year old in the gas tank explosion case, has yet to acknowledge liability in that case, but the verdict has certainly turned heads of those at the National Highway Safety and Transportation Administration (NHSTA) who supported the gas tank design in the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and rendered it an unreasonable safety hazard on the road. As I blogged recently, NHSTA is now rethinking that decision very carefully.

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A Hardworking Railroad Employee Injured in a Wreck Involving a Train is Awarded just over $ 1 Million Dollars by a Fulton County, Georgia Jury (Video Included)

look-out-for-trains-1444327-mThe Plaintiff, Winfred Evans, then age 46 years old, was a freight conductor for Norfolk Southern Railway when he was the passenger in a van that was used to carry workers for the railway in the Inman Rail Yard in Georgia. The van was owned by Professional Transportation, Inc. (a/k/a PTI). On this particular day, the van in which Evans was riding was running parallel to a set of tracks of the railroad when it approached a railroad crossing simultaneously with a train. Instead of stopping to wait for the train, however, the van turned in front of the train causing the train to strike the side of the van in which Evans was riding.

Although the van was only traveling at a rate of speed of approximately 8 to 10 miles per hour, it struck the van with enough force to cause Evans severe and permanent injuries. Fortunately, the person riding in the back of the van was not hurt. It is unknown if the driver of the van was injured, but it is known that he was subsequently fired from his job as a driver.

Evans was not taken from the scene in an ambulance and was hoping that home remedies would cure his pain. The next day, however, when he awoke he had trouble moving which prompted his wife to take him to the emergency room. Evans continued on with physical therapy to no avail. He then sought treatment with an orthopedic doctor who diagnosed him with strain in his left shoulder, and cervical and lumbar strain. He was also told that eventually he would need surgery. As a result of his injuries, Evans was unable to work for 17 months causing him a tremendous amount of lost wages.

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A Woman who was Injured in a Low-Impact Rear End Collision for which she sought Back Surgery was awarded Nothing by a Jackson County, Georgia Jury

car-parking-dent-923935-mIn November, 2001, on a rainy day, the Plaintiff, a woman from Tifton, Georgia named Melissa Chapman, was stopped on Pleasant Hill Road at a traffic light in Gwinnett County, Georgia when she was was hit in the rear of her car by Defendant Ameda Wittmer.  Defendant Wittmer would admit to being the cause of the accident, but deny that the accident was the cause of the surgical treatment that the Plaintiff later endured to her back.

It was acknowledged that the impact was a low-speed impact, that neither car sustained more damage beyond bumper damage in the form of minor scratches, there was no ambulance called, and there was no emergency visit to the hospital by the Plaintiff.  Later, however, and not much longer after the accident, the Plaintiff would complain to friends and family that she was experiencing back and neck pain.

She treated her pain initially with over the counter medication and other home remedies to no avail. She then sought the assistance of a chiropractor who referred her to an orthopedic clinic that treated her with an injection to no avail.

The Plaintiff then underwent surgery for herniated disks in her back and the surgery did relieve her pain. Although this was ultimately a surgical case, the problem that seemed to stand in the way of a decent settlement or jury verdict, as acknowledged by attorneys for both sides, was, in part, the fact that the Plaintiff waited two (2) months to seek medical treatment. The case is Chapman v. Wittmer, No. M12CV1132.

This case seems to ignore, in part, that there is scientific evidence, as I have posted in a prior blog post that does acknowledge that severe injury can be caused from low-impact rear end collisions going as slow, or slower, than seven (7) miles per hour. There are also cases that have set precent that even though the Plaintiff has waited to seek treatment, and in some cases engaged in activities that it might be argued exasperate an injury of this sort, that juries have returned verdicts in the seven (7) figures if the case has resulted in a surgery or other major injury.

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Follow Up to the Blog Posted Dated April 9, 2015 re: $ 150 Million Dollar Plaintiff’s Verdict against Chrysler: NHTSA may Reopen Investigation of the older Jeeps’ gas tanks and may also open a New Investigation

business-law-883985-mAs I posted in my April 9, 2015 blog post titled, “A $ 150 Million Dollar Verdict in Georgia against Chrysler for the Death of a Young Child Due to an Exploding Gas Tank Exposes the Company to Future Massive Tort Litigation (Video’s of the Trial Included),” a Georgia Jury in Bainbridge, Georgia, just over one week ago, awarded a family who lost their 4-year old son in a 1999 Jeep Cherokee gas tank explosion following a rear end collision, $ 150 Million Dollars in Damages for the loss of their son and for their son’s pain and suffering in his horrific death. In that blog, I stated that the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), after investigating the Jeep’s gas tank design by, among other things, 20 year old data submitted by Chrysler, had determined that the Jeep was an, “unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.”

NHTSA may, however, be changing course in reference to its earlier determination that the Jeep’s gas tank design was safe.  Mark Rosakind, the head of NHTSA, told reporters yesterday at the New York International Auto Show at a briefing that he may reopen the investigation of the safety of the older Jeeps’ gas tanks, and that he may even begin a new investigation.  Rosalind was quoted as stating, “We’re not satisfied with the current situation, so we are looking for every avenue that would be appropriate for us to take action,” and, “Given all of the stuff that’s going on, we want to figure out what else we can be doing.” Rosakind also stated that he has a group that is organized to look into actions that regulators can take and he has further stated that, “Everything is on the table for us to look at.”

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A $ 150 Million Dollar Verdict in Georgia against Chrysler for the Death of a Young Child Due to an Exploding Gas Tank Exposes the Company to Future Massive Tort Litigation (Video’s of the Trial Included)

explosion-776833-mOn March 6, 2012, the Waldens were driving in Bainbridge, Georgia when their 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee was struck from behind by a vehicle that was traveling more than 50 miles per hour. Neither of the Drivers of either vehicle were injured in the impact.  The 4-year old child that sat in the back seat of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, manufactured by Chrysler, only suffered a fractured leg until the Jeep burst into flames causing the death of the young Remington Walden. The parent’s marriage would also die that fateful night.

This was not the first time that a vehicle with this gas tank design had exploded causing Catastrophic Injury or Death, and Chrysler knew it as they settled claims quietly and recalled just enough vehicles to keep the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) satisfied. Chrysler tried to settle with the Waldens, but to no avail. The Waldens had nothing more to lose: Their son was dead and their marriage was dead; now it was time for Chrysler to be exposed.

And exposed they would be by a Bainbridge, Georgia jury a week ago today when the jury awarded one hundred and fifty million dollars and No/00th ($ 150,000,000.00) to the Waldens for the Wrongful Death of their young 4-year old son Remi. The case is Walden v. Chrysler Group, 12CV472. The jury apportioned $ 120 Million Dollars of the verdict for the value of Remi’s life and $ 30 Million Dollars for the young child’s pain and suffering as he died while flames from the vehicle engulfed him and the Jeep in which he was riding. The jury only attributed one percent (1%) of the fault of the accident to the other driver that hit the Jeep from behind, leaving ninety-nine percent (99%) of the fault with Fiat Chrylser.

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Don’t Underestimate the Power of the Jury: Henry County, Georgia Jury Awards $ 100,000 in Excess of the Defendant’s Final Offer of Settlement

justice-388623-mIn 2012, Rebecca Grimes was driving on Warm Springs Road in Georgia heading West when she was hit in the side by John Watson who was driving on Manchester Expressway when he pulled into her and caused the collision. Ms. Grimes’ shoulder was severely injured as her arms were reaching towards the steering wheel causing a blunt force to her shoulder.

Ms. Grimes had to have surgery on her shoulder and her medical bills were approximately $ 110,000.00 including said surgery. The treating surgeon testified to this fact at trial and the jury agreed. Liability on the part of the Defendant Watson was not at issue at trial. What was at issue at trial, however, was whether or not the amount of damages were excessive and whether or not the crash actually caused Plaintiff Grimes’ injuries. It was duly noted at trial that Ms. Grimes had never had an issue with her shoulder prior to the crash.

The Plaintiff and the Defendant both argued their positions passionately at trial but both remained professional. The case is Grimes v. Watson, No. 14-SV-130-BWS. The case was tried in Henry County State Court since the Court had jurisdiction over the Defendant due to his address in Henry County. The jury ultimately awarded $ 250,000.00 which was $ 100,000.00 over the Defendant’s final offer to settle the case. As was noted by the Plaintiff, if she would have accepted the final offer of $ 150,000.00 that would only have been enough money to pay her medical bills and her attorneys’ fees with nothing left for her pain and suffering or any other damages. The Plaintiff was left with no choice but to take her case to a jury.

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In Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia a Jury awards $1.5 Million for Injuries sustained by a 7 Year Old Child from a Driver that was Texting and Driving ~ part two

lit-up-mobile-phone-01-103994-mThis blog post will continue my discussion of a Motor Vehicle Accident case in Atlanta, Georgia that I began discussing in my blog post titled, “In Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia a Jury awards $1.5 Million for Injuries sustained by a 7 Year Old Child from a Driver that was Texting and Driving ~ part one.”  Ms. Anderson, Chasity’s mother who was driving at the time of the accident when she was reared ended by the driver that was texting and driving, was also injured in the accident but settled her injury claim, filed a lawsuit on behalf of her daughter in Fulton County State Court in the year of 2009.  The case is Anderson v. Brenner, No. 2009EV007726.

In this case, there would be no dispute that the Defendants, Mr. Brenner and the lawn company who owned the vehicle he was driving at the time of the accident, were at fault in the accident as the driver, Mr. Brenner, would admit that he was texting a customer while driving and when he hit the vehicle carrying Ms. Anderson and her then seven (7) year old daughter, Miss Chasity.  What would be at issue was whether or not Chasity, who was fifteen (15) years old at the time of trial, had, in fact, made a full recovery.

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In Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia a Jury awards $1.5 Million for Injuries sustained by a 7 Year Old Child from a Driver that was Texting and Driving ~ part one

mobile-phone-in-hand-1307594-mThis is my first blog post titled, “In Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia a Jury awards $1.5 Million for Injuries sustained by a 7 Year Old Child from a Driver that was Texting and Driving ~ part one, ” where I will discuss a case in Fulton County, Atlanta, Georgia involving a Motor Vehicle Accident whereby the driver that caused the accident was texting and driving at the time of the crash.

Ms. Sharon Anderson was waiting for a light to turn on Peachtree Industrial Blvd. when she was rear-ended by a Ford pick-up truck F-250 that was driven by Mr. Kevin Brenner, and owned by Arbor-Nomics Turf, Inc. a lawn service company, while he was texting and driving.  At the time of the crash, Ms. Anderson’s seven (7) year old daughter, Chasity, was in her car seat in the back seat.  The crash was so severe that the young child was pushed forward from the back seat resulting in her hitting her head on the front seat. The blow to her head was so traumatic that the young Miss Chasity suffered two (2) skull fractures, a fracture to her left eye orbital, and other soft tissue damage.

While she was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Miss Chasity had a seizure and then went into a cardiac arrest. When she presented in the Emergency Room, Miss Chasity had another seizure and another cardiac arrest. She was then stabilized and transported by airlift to another hospital where she would remain overnight and unconscious while her mother feared for her daughter’s life.

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A Gwinnett County, Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Award Issued to Construction Workers Injured in a Crash Sends a Message Deeper Than Just Dollars ~ part two

tree-at-the-same-time-600241-mThis blog post will continue my discussion of the case I discussed in my last blog post titled, “A Gwinnett County, Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Award Issued to Construction Workers Injured in a Crash Sends a Message Deeper Than Just Dollars ~ part one.”  The Plaintiffs not only had the burden in this case of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that Ms. Taylor had a duty at the traffic signal, that she had breached said duty, and that the injuries suffered by the Plaintiffs were sustained by said accident, the Plaintiffs had to overcome language barriers since neither Plaintiff spoke much english. The Plaintiffs further had to overcome the danger of the jury attaching a stigma to them since they were both immigrants who nonetheless did not speak english very well.

The issue of immigration was hit head on in the trial beginning with voir dire when there was questioning posed to the jury about the importance of setting aside any bias against immigrants who did not speak english. During trial, the jury would again hear about how the Plaintiffs were first-generation Americans with family members from Cuba who did not learn to speak english. Finally, the jury would be reminded that each juror took an oath whereby it was not going to be acceptable to use feelings about learning the english language and about immigration to base her/his decisions regarding a final verdict in this case.

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