A Fulton County jury awarded nearly $7 million to the children of a 46 year woman killed as she and the driver of the car in which she was a passenger were attempting to change a flat tire on the highway. As the woman who was the passenger went to the back of the car and was attempting to remove the spare tire from the trunk, another car slammed into the women and the car, and the woman was pinned between the cars and died at the scene.
The driver of the car that was broken down was seriously injured. The driver of the car who hit and killed the woman suffered only minor injuries.
Although it was discovered that the driver of the car that killed the woman had been obsessively texting and driving as later shown by cellphone records that he was texting and driving the whole time having a lovers quarrel by text message with over 250 texts in three and a half hours, he was still never held liable for any portion of the accident nor were any criminal charges filed against him.
Another interesting and important point in this case was that the car that had broken down was not fully pulled off the road and it was determined that that also contributed to the accident. The Judge, therefore, placed the driver of the vehicle that was partially parked in the roadway on the verdict form so that the jury could apportion some fault to her for not being completely off the road way. The Jury apportioned 1% of the fault to her.
The case is Hooker v. Brown, No. 12EV014753.