Jury Awards $18.8 Million in Car Crash Case

by | Jun 28, 2024

Partners Joseph Cammarata and Stephen Ollar obtained a jury award of $18.8 million in a car crash case in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that was hit head-on by an alleged drunk driver who caused his work van to cross over the double-yellow line. The collision occurred on a weekend. The driver admitted he was at fault. However, his employer argued that since the driver was drunk and using the van on a non-workday, it was not responsible for the driver’s negligence.

The law provides that if an employee, while acting for the benefit of their employer, causes harm, then the employer is responsible for the harm caused. We presented evidence that the driver was either on his way to get gas for his work vehicle or had just gotten gas at the time of the crash. We also presented evidence to discredit the claim that the driver was drunk and argued that even if he was drunk, this fact would not prevent his employer from being responsible for his conduct, since he was getting gas for his employer at the time.

Our client suffered severe permanent injuries and damages, including a traumatic brain injury with brain bleeding and brain tissue injury, and wrist, rib, pelvic, and leg fractures, requiring surgery. Our client was a survivor of breast cancer and a kidney and liver transplant. She had been out of work for approximately seven years before the collision but expected to return to the workforce within one year of the date of the collision, had it not occurred. As a result of her injuries, our client was no longer employable. Using expert testimony, we presented to the jury a claim for diminished earning capacity.

Due to our client’s extensive permanent injuries, we presented expert testimony to demonstrate that our client’s future medical and life care expenses would be approximately $1.8 million. Our client’s past medical expenses were approximately $515,000.

The jury found that the driver was acting for the benefit of his employer at the time of the crash and that both the employer and driver were responsible for our client’s injuries and damages. The jury concluded that our client was entitled to approximately $18.8 million, finding our client was entitled to all her damages for past and future medical expenses, life care costs, and lost earnings, and $15 million for non-economic damages (for such things as pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and inconvenience).

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