After 12 long hours of deliberation, a DeKalb County jury awarded Johnny and Carolyn Parks, a Flowery Branch couple injured in a trucking accident on June 21, 2011, a $3.2 million verdict. Of that sum, $2.8 million was awarded to the injured couple, and $392,000 accounted for attorneys’ fees.
According the plaintiffs’ attorney, Andrew Ausband, Johnny and Carolyn Parks were traveling in the second right hand lane of I-85 when they saw a HERO unit stopped ahead. The driver had left his vehicle, and was trying to remove a large tire tread from the road. Both Parks and the driver in front of him stopped; the tractor trailer, however, did not.
Driven by Jessie Arnold, the Atlanta Dealer Trades tractor trailer plowed into Parks’ vehicle from behind, forcing their car 60 feet ahead and into another lane of moving traffic. Unable to stop, the truck also struck the car that had stopped in front of the Parks, as well as the HERO unit driver.
The defense counsel, led by Adam Long of Eraclides, Gelman, Hall, Indek, Goodman & Waters, argued that Arnold had tried to apply the brakes, but the braking system failed. The truck, which had been purchased just three months before and was apparently in good condition, was sold to Atlanta Dealer Trades by a company called JCF Auto Transport, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio.
The $3.2 million verdict would have been even greater, but the DeKalb County jury had difficulty deciding whether or not to award punitive damages against the defendant, Atlanta Dealer Trades. In an attempt to motivate the deadlocked jury to reach a verdict, the State Court delivered an Allen charge; after almost two more hours of deliberation, he mentioned that he was inclined to call a mistrial. In order to avoid this, Ausband quickly withdrew the claim for punitive damages, removing the burden of decision from the jury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor trailer accident caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of another, contact the expert trucking accident lawyers of Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP. Equipped with over 70 years of combined experience, Glenn E. Kushel and Nicholas C. Moraitakis have the resources needed to help you gain the compensation that you deserve.
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