Man Paralyzed in Company Vehicle Accident Wins $67 Million Verdict
Thomas J. Henry’ client Christopher J. Arnold has been awarded $67 million following a company vehicle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
About the Company Vehicle Collision
According to reports, the accident occurred on August 28, 2012 along FM 624 near Calallen, Texas.
Arnold was a passenger in a Ford SportTrak vehicle which made a U-turn onto the freeway in front of a van, thus causing impact. The SportTrak was then struck by a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Weatherford, U.S., L.P. employee Robert Earl Sims.
Injuries Sustained from Accident
Arnold suffered from a multitude of injuries pertaining to the accident which include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Vertebral fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bleeding from the brain
- Collapsed Lung
- Lacerated spleen
- Rib fractures
The case was tried in Nueces County Court at Law No. 4. Part of the defense entailed the driver that made the U-turn, was responsible for causing a chain reaction collision. Additionally, the argument of the defense was that Arnold had not been wearing a seat belt.
Thomas J. Henry stated to the jury that Sims failed to execute proper safe following distance rules, which protect all drivers and passengers on the road. Mr. Henry added that an investigation found that no policy and procedure on safe following distance existed at Weatherford.
During the trial, the Thomas J. Henry established how Sims and Weatherford, U.S., L.P could have prevented the collision between both vehicles.
Liability was disputed in the case; however, it was finally determined that Robert Earl Sims and Weatherford, U.S., L.P. were indeed at fault. The jury found that the accident resulted from the negligence/gross negligence of Sims and Weatherford and awarded Thomas J. Henry’ client a total of $67 million.
Safe Following Distance Explained
According to the US Department of Public Safety, tailgating is the 5th leading cause of vehicle accidents. As such, it is important to keep a safe following distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
The 3 second rule allows for just that. The rule holds that your car should pass a fixed object at least three seconds after the car ahead of you passed the same object.
Large truck drivers are normally urged to allow for additional room as heavy vehicles tend to take longer to stop.