Projected Future Earnings at Issue in Cobb Wrongful Death Case

Case CaptionTheresa Foster v. Landstar Ranger Inc., Civil Action No.: 09-A-1698-A
Court:  State Court of Cobb County
Judge:  Hon. Maria B. Golick
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: William S. Stone, Boone & Stone; Matthew C. Flournoy
Defendant’s Attorneys: Y. Kevin Williams, Weinberg Wheeler
Alleged Damages: Wrongful death
Verdict: $40 million
Date of Verdict:  September 23, 2011

Summary: Plaintiff, her husband, and a friend were returning from a quail hunting trip when a tractor trailer driver ran a stop sign and slammed into their pick-up truck.  Plaintiff’s husband was killed and the driver of the tractor trailer was convicted of homicide by vehicle.  Landstar Ranger Inc. had leased the tractor trailer and eventually admitted liability.  The only issue at trial was the measure of damages for the serious injuries suffered by Plaintiff and her friend, and the wrongful death of her husband.

In a stunning verdict, the jury awarded $265,000 for pre-impact terror as well as $28.7 million for the full value of Mr. Foster’s life and projected future earnings.  At age 45, Mr. Foster owned Dixie Shooters Supply, Inc. which sold guns and ammunition to retail stores.  Although Mr. Foster had averaged earnings of $465,000 a year for the five years prior to his death, Plaintiff’s counsel introduced testimony to prove that new business deals would have increased his yearly earnings to as high as $1.9 million.

Defendants intend to appeal, based predominantly on the future earnings award which they claim was purely speculative.

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