Victim’s Wife Receives $3.6 Million Portion of Verdict for Loss of Consortium
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Aug. 2, 2017) — Thomas J. Henry, a personal injury law firm, obtained an $11.27 million verdict in South Texas on behalf of their client Alex Puga, who was injured in a 2015 trucking accident. Puga suffered a burnt left hand, a broken thigh bone, broken right ankle, and broken hip. A portion of the verdict, totaling $3.6 million, was awarded to Puga’s wife for loss of consortium. She was not involved in the accident.
Facts of the Texas Trucking Accident Case
The accident occurred in 2015 when Thomas J. Henry’s client, Alex Puga, was traveling southbound on Highway 77 in Refugio County, driving home after work to have dinner with his wife, Norma Puga. A tractor owned by About Tyme Transport, Inc., hauling a trailer owned by Xtra Lease, LLC, and leased to RCX Solutions, Inc., was heading northbound on Highway 77 when the operator, who was on his cell phone in the rain, hydroplaned across the median and entered southbound traffic. Puga was violently struck head-on by the tractor-trailer, causing him extensive physical and mental injuries.
Details of the Personal Injury Lawsuit
Thomas J. Henry’s firm filed suit against the 18-wheeler operator’s employer, RCX Solutions, Inc., for negligence, negligence per se, and gross negligence. Richard Hunnicutt, of Thomas J. Henry, tried the case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District, Corpus Christi, under the Statutory Employer Doctrine.
RCX Solutions, Inc., claimed they were only the broker and were not responsible for the actions of the tractor-trailer operator. A fact question was submitted to the jury in federal court, asking the jury to determine if there was an arrangement between the tractor-trailer operator and RCX Solutions, Inc., to use his equipment. The jury found that there was indeed an arrangement. The Plaintiff’s attorney proved that RCX Solutions, Inc. did not have a Department of Transportation Broker’s license and therefore could not legally broker the load. Siding with the plaintiff, the jury found that the 18-wheeler operator was negligent and that RCX Solutions, Inc., used a motor vehicle it did not own to transport property under an arrangement with the operator.
The jury awarded Alex Puga $7,586,590 for past and future medical care expenses, earning capacity, physical pain and mental anguish, physical impairment, and physical disfigurement. The jury awarded Norma Puga $3,689,076 for past and future loss of household services and loss of consortium. The total of the jury award was $11,275,666.
“The jury didn’t like this company trying to pass the buck. They saw through the company’s claims that they were a broker and not responsible for this driver. They saw that they were actually the Carrier and the Employer for this load and held them responsible,” Hunnicutt stated.
“Our firm has a long history of holding trucking companies responsible for serious injuries and deaths. The law is designed to safeguard all of us on the roadways and highways in the US. My firm has been dedicated to upholding these values, for our clients, in courts around the country,” firm founder Thomas J. Henry added.
About Thomas J. Henry
Thomas J. Henry is the largest personal injury law firm in Texas and handles cases nationwide. In the first quarter of 2017 alone, Thomas J. Henry made several multi-million dollar recoveries, including an $8.7 million verdict on behalf of a well-worker who was permanently injured when a fellow employee, who was severely fatigued and fell asleep at the wheel, caused a major auto accident. Thomas J. Henry’s attorneys were able to prove that the well operator, knowing the risks associated with fatigued driving, acted negligently in insisting the fatigued crewmembers transport themselves home after their 22-hour shift. In May of 2017, the firm secured a $9 million verdict on behalf of a client who suffered crushing hand injuries as the result of a workplace accident. This multi-million-dollar verdict helped solidify the firm’s place among the top workplace injury law firms in the country.