$4,700,000 Verdict in the 134th District Court, Dallas County, Texas.
Andrew Metheny (“Plaintiff”) was in an automobile collision more than 3 years ago. The alleged at-fault driver had only the state minimum insurance coverage ($30,000). Accordingly, Mr. Metheny brought a claim against and later sued Safeco Insurance (Safeco) under his own under-insured motorist (“UIM”) policy. The policy was intended to cover him in the event he suffered injuries and damages caused by an under-insured motorist. Despite alleging he suffered significant injuries and lost wages as a result of the collision caused by the under-insured motorist, Safeco did not offer him a dollar of his under-insured motorist coverage.
Spencer Browne from Reyes Browne Reilley represented the Plaintiff at trial in the 134th District Court of Dallas County. Kim Phipps, Taeri Oh, and Mary Evelyn Whitehurst (from Gallerson & Yates (in-house counsel for Liberty Mutual/Safeco)) represented Safeco. The 3-day trial began Monday morning and ended yesterday. The 12-person jury delivered its unanimous verdict after only 20 minutes of deliberation.
The case involved a 3-car crash. The UIM driver was in the far right lane. An 18-wheeler was in the middle lane. Plaintiff was in the far left lane. Plaintiff alleged the UIM driver changed lanes when unsafe, which caused the 18-wheeler to collide with Plaintiff’s vehicle (a Land Rover) and flip it on its side.
The Dallas Police Department Officer who investigated the collision is an accident investigator. He concluded and testified that all liability fell on the UIM driver. Plaintiff’s accident reconstructionist also concluded all liability rested on the UIM driver. Nonetheless, in its closing argument, Safeco tried to avoid any liability under the UIM policy by arguing the driver of the 18-wheeler was 70% liable, while the UIM driver was 30% liable for the collision.
Plaintiff alleged he suffered a mild Tramautic Brain Injury/concussion (“TBI”) and that he still suffers from post-concussion syndrome. Plaintiff also alleged substantial lost earnings and future loss of earning capacity based on the contention he was fired from his executive level job because of an outburst directed at his boss due to his increased anger, frustration, and agitation from the TBI.
The jury awarded:
$200,000 for physical pain and suffering in the past;
$750,000 for physical pain and suffering in the future;
$200,000 for mental anguish in the past;
$750,000 for mental anguish in the future;
$200,000 for physical impairment in the past;
$750,000 for physical impairment in the future;
$350,000 in past loss of earning capacity; and
$1,500,000 in future loss of earning capacity.
After more than 30 years representing injury victims in car wrecks, truck wrecks, and motorcycle accidents, the experienced team of Dallas personal injury attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley have seen the consequences of negligence first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of a car wreck which was not your fault, contact us now for a free and confidential case review. Fill out our contact form online, or call (214) 526-7900, and we will get you on the road to recovery.