San Antonio, TX (September 24, 2019)– A San Antonio jury sent a message to Texas and the entire country Friday in delivering a $59.8 million verdict in a crash involving a drunk driver. The case, Armando Guerrero III vs. Nydia Pena, was tried in the 166th District Court in Bexar County. Hon. Laura Salinas presided. On Tuesday, Judge Salinas converted the verdict into a $60,086,578.32 judgement, to include pre-judgment interest in the case. This judgment cannot be dismissed by bankruptcy (Under 11 U.S.C. § 523 – U.S. Code – Title 11. Bankruptcy § 523. Exceptions to discharge (A) 9.)
Details of the Judgment
Thomas J. Henry stated, “This judgment represents a non-dischargeable judgment for money. Due to the intoxication assault finding in the case, the judgment cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Collection actions can occur over the course of the defendant’s life.”
Facts of the San Antonio Drunk Driving Crash Case
The crash occurred in May 2016, when the vehicle carrying Thomas J. Henry’s client, 23-year-old Armando Guerrero, III, was struck by a speeding drunk driver who ran a red light on Southwest Military Drive.
Details of the San Antonio Drunk Driving Crash Lawsuit
Defendant Nydia Pena admitted she was intoxicated at the time of the accident and that she was distracted by her child in the backseat. She ran a red light while traveling at a speed of over 78 mph in a 40 mph zone.
Details of the San Antonio Drunk Driving Crash Verdict
After three hours of deliberation, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded the following damages supported by the evidence:
- Past and Future Physical Pain and Mental Anguish: $7,500,000
- Past and Future Disfigurement: $550,000
- Past and Future Physical Impairment: $1,625,000
- Past Medical Expenses: $81,223.22
- Punitive Damages: $50,000,000
With pre-judgment interest, the final judgment will exceed $60 million.
Thomas J. Henry stated, “When a driver chooses to drink and get behind the wheel, they are making a decision that puts everybody on the road at risk. This case exemplifies the extensive, life-altering consequences that arise from that sort of decision.”
Thomas J. Henry continued by saying, “I hope the judgment our firm achieved for Mr. Guerrero serves as a reminder: If you choose to drink and drive, you will be held accountable to the fullest extent the law allows.”
About Thomas J. Henry
Thomas J. Henry is the founder and owner of Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys, one of the nation’s leading personal injury firms. For over 25 years, the firm has fought to secure justice and compensation for individuals who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of others and to prevent similar instances of wrongful death from occurring again.
Since its founding in 1993, Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys has grown into the largest personal injury plaintiff’s firm in Texas, housing more than 150 attorneys and 350 supporting staff. The firm currently operates seven office locations across San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin, and Houston.
Thomas J. Henry and his firm have been the recipients of numerous awards over the years.
In 2019, Glassdoor named Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys one of the “Best Places to Work” in the United States. It was the only law firm to make the list. That same year, Bloomberg Businessweek published a feature on Thomas J. Henry, highlighting his firm’s “clear commitment to client satisfaction.”
In 2018, Thomas J. Henry was named the Best San Antonio Attorney of 2018 by San Antonio Current and was also recognized as one of the Best Personal Injury Attorneys in the nation by Newsweek.com. In 2017, Thomas J. Henry achieved one of the 10 largest verdicts recorded in Texas for the year (awarded to Thomas J. Henry by Texas Lawyer, an ALM company) as well as the #1 Texas Car Accident, Bus Accident, and Negligent Supervision Verdicts for the year (awarded to Thomas J. Henry by TopVerdict.com).
Recent record breaking verdicts include:
- $35 Million for a Trucking Accident Resulting in Wrongful Death (Expenses: $100,000.00 | Attorney’s Fees: $12,750,000.00 | Net to Client: $22,150,000.00)
- $30.2 Million for an Accident Involving a Recalled Vehicle Resulting in Spinal Cord and Back Injuries (Expenses: $39,576.15 | Attorney’s Fees: $10,060,980.00 | Net to Client: $20,121,960.57)
- $12.7 Million for a Medical Malpractice Resulting in Spinal Cord and Back Injuries (Expenses: $300.000.00 | Attorney’s Fees: $2,000,000.00 | Net to Client: $10.4 Million – Purchase of Lifetime Annuity)
- $10.9 Million for Medical Malpractice Resulting in Spinal Cord and Back Injuries (Expenses: $300,000.00 | Attorney’s Fees: $3,200,000.00 | Net to Client: $4,029,762.00 – Purchase of Lifetime Annuity)
- $10 Million for a Company Vehicle Accident Resulting in Spinal Cord and Back Injuries (Expenses: $125,000.00 | Attorney’s Fees: $4,250,000.00 | Net to Client: $5,625,000.00)
In 2016, Forbes Magazine named Thomas J. Henry a “Texas Leader in Law,” noting his ability to secure large financial awards, a positive reputation among professional peers, and a dedication to philanthropy at the local, national, and global levels. Also in 2016, Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys was listed on Newsweek.com’s annual list of “Premier Law Firms.”
Thomas J. Henry is also a lifetime member of both the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and of Rue Ratings’ “Best Attorneys of America.”
Outside of the courtroom, the firm is known for its many philanthropic endeavors and generous contributions to local and global communities.
The firm has an active philanthropy program which supports causes related to poverty, veterans, national disaster relief, education, animals, and the arts.