It can take a long time for victims of truck and car accidents to receive fair compensation for injuries suffered in a crash caused by a negligent or reckless driver. In addition to time spent in the discovery and trial phases of litigation, a party who is not satisfied with the trial court’s judgment may opt to appeal the matter to a higher court, causing a further delay.
Recently, a cable company and its driver appealed a $4 million jury verdict, which included a punitive damages award against the company.
Facts of the Case
The plaintiffs were between a pickup truck and a cable company “spool” truck traveling east on I-20. The pickup lost control. Both the plaintiff’s vehicle and the “spool” truck braked and attempted to avoid hitting the out-of-control pickup truck. The “spool” truck hit the back of the plaintiff’s vehicle and then hit the front of the pickup truck.
The plaintiffs filed suit against the pickup truck driver, the “spool” truck driver, and the company that employed the “spool truck” driver, alleging, among other things, that the employer had negligently entrusted the vehicle to its driver.
What Happened at Trial
The jury found that both the “spool” truck driver and his employer were grossly negligent and awarded over $4 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the plaintiff.
The Appellant’s Argument for Relief
The “spool” truck driver and his employer appealed. In their recently filed appellate brief, they argued that the pickup truck driver was at least partially responsible for the accident, the jury’s findings were against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence, there was no evidence supporting the jury’s finding that the employer was negligent in entrusting the “spool” truck to the driver, the jury’s finding of gross negligence was not supported by clear and convincing evidence, the punitive damages award should be reversed, the trial court abused its discretion in not requiring the jury to answer a proportionate responsibility question, the verdict did not support a joint and several judgment, certain medical opinions were unsupported, and there was insufficient evidence to award damages for future medical expenses to the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs will have an opportunity to file their own brief prior to the appellate court rendering an opinion on the issues. If either party is aggrieved by the court of appeals’ decision, the case may be appealed further to the state supreme court. Should the ultimate decision on appeal be in the plaintiffs’ favor, the defendants will be required to pay the amount awarded by the jury, plus interest. Alternatively, the appellate court may decide to reduce the amount of damages via a remittitur, remand the case for a retrial, or modify the lower court’s ruling in some other manner.
Contact a Knowledgeable East Texas Injury Lawyer
If you or someone in your family has been involved in a truck crash or another motor vehicle accident, you should talk to an experienced east Texas truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation, call the Law Firm of Earl Drott, P.C., at (903) 531-9300. If we do not recover a settlement or judgement on your behalf, you do not owe a legal fee.
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