Written by Virginia Lawyers Weekly | This case involved two collisions, seconds apart, caused by two commercial vehicles.
Plaintiffs were a family of four (two adults and two teenage children) travelling in their sedan on Interstate 77 in Wythe County when they were struck in the rear. Moments later they were struck more severely in the rear a second time by a tractor-trailer. One of the minors was trapped in the family’s crushed vehicle for 45 minutes until a rescue squad was able to extract her from the wreckage. She was hospitalized for six weeks with abdominal injuries which required surgery. The parents sued for their own, relatively modest, injuries as well as for the emotional distress they suffered while their daughter was trapped in their heavily damaged car.
Type of action: Personal Injury – Motor Vehicle Accident
Injuries alleged: One of the minor plaintiffs had an exploratory laparoscopy, which revealed perforations of her intestines and colon. A pediatric surgeon then performed a laparotomy to repair and resect jejunal and colonic injuries.
Court: U.S. District Court – Western District of Virginia
Case no.: 17:15CV00136
Tried before: Mediation
Name of judge: Hon. Robert S. Ballou
Date resolved: Apr. 4, 2016
Special damages: $426,000 in medical bills. Approximately $410,000 of these bills were attributable to the minor plaintiff who had abdominal Injuries. No wage loss.
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Amount: $1,500,000.00 ($1,325,000 minor child; $25,000 minor child; $75,000 parent; $75,000 parent)
Attorneys for plaintiff: Paul G. Beers and Emma M. Kozlowski, Roanoke
Attorneys for defendant: Lori J. Bentley, Roanoke; Diane L. Lynch, Richmond