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Settlement

$30,641,914

Logan’s Story — Commercial vehicle crash- Brain injury- Spine

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PLACE + HOLDER

While on his way to a casino, defendant failed to notice signs indicating his intended exit was closed.  Not being able to exit the interstate, defendant decided to make an illegal turn through the median of the interstate in an area intended for “authorized vehicles only.” Defendant slowed his vehicle abruptly in the left hand lane of travel in an attempt to enter the turn-through, resulting in plaintiff rear ending the tire truck as it was beginning its turn. Vicarious liability and independent negligence claims were made against defendant.  It was alleged the defendant’s vehicle was defective.  The trial court entered a default judgment against Defendants on Plaintiffs’ liability claims and struck Defendants’ defenses due to spoliation and discovery abuse.

Plaintiff’s spinal cord was severed at the T2-T3 level.  Plaintiff also suffered a severe brain injury and numerous other injuries including numerous fractures to his extremities and back.  Plaintiff requires 24-hour attendant care. Plaintiff’s speech, cognitive ability, and the function of upper extremities have greatly improved as a result of his parents’ unyielding dedication and The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) in Houston.

After the trial court’s entry of the default judgment the case settled on March 22, 2012, for $30,641,914.74.

The case concerned unique facts regarding whether or not the employee was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash.  The spoliation motion and motion for default judgment included allegations the defendant failed to disclose photographs in a timely fashion that showed the truck’s left rear taillight was taped up at the time of the accident due to pre-existing damage.  The tape was removed before plaintiff’s expert had an opportunity to inspect the truck, despite a Court Order to the contrary.  Plaintiff alleged the defendants tampered with the taillights, including the replacing of bad taillight bulbs before the truck was inspected by plaintiffs’ expert. Defendants also, despite being asked in discovery and by the Court, failed to disclose the fact their liability expert had previously rendered a report that was damaging to defendants on several significant issues; the expert subsequently issued another report that contradicted his initial undisclosed report.  Further, the liability expert denied issuing an earlier narrative report.  Defendants furnished inconsistent information throughout the discovery process.

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