Broken Leg Brings BIG Verdict

Case Caption:  Gloria and Preston Turner vs. R.S. Andrews, Civil Action File Number 11EV12354
Court:  Fulton County State Court
Judge:  Hon. Patsy Y. Porter
Plaintiff’s Attorney: Michael Goldberg, Fried Rogers Goldberg, Atlanta
Defendant’s Attorneys:  Robert A. Luskin, Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson, Atlanta
Alleged Damages:  fractured femur, loss of consortium
Verdict: $1,962,000; $218,000 for loss of consortium; $109,416 in interest on a settlement offer of one million dollars
Date of Verdict: March 19, 2012

Summary:  In November 2009, Plaintiff Turner was stopped in traffic when she was rear-ended by a commercial van.  At the time of the accident, the van driver, Dempsey, was on his way home from work in a company-owned van.  R.S. Andrews, Dempsey’s employer, asserted that he was off duty at the time of the accident; therefore, R.S. Andrews denied any liability for the accident.  As a result of the accident, Turner fractured her femur and underwent surgery for her injuries.

Two years prior to trial, Plaintiff offered to settle the case for $1 million, however, Defendant’s highest offer was $250,000.  After failed mediation, the case proceeded to trial.  In a tactical move, Defendants moved to add Turner’s husband as a plaintiff before trial to avoid facing a future claim for loss of consortium.  

The jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff Turner for $1,962,000 and awarded her husband $218,000.  Because of Plaintiff’s prior rejected settlement offer, she was awarded over $109,000 in interest at trial pursuant to Georgia’s Unliquidated Damages Interest Act.  O.C.G.A. § 51-12-14.  The jury also determined that Dempsey was acting in the scope of his employment at the time of the accident, therefore, there was no allocation of fault between Dempsey and R.S. Andrews.  The total award in favor of Plaintiff was $2,289,416.

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