Car Accident Lawsuit

Car accident lawsuit updates from around the United States.

Car Accident Lawsuit updates

January 24, 2023
Author: Daniel Gala

Families of Three Victims Killed in Deadly Fire Truck Collision Reach Settlement for $1.5m  

The families of the three people killed in a crash with a speeding fire truck will receive more than $1.5 million under a settlement agreement reached with the city and the driver’s private insurer, The Kansas City Star reported January 19.  

The settlement does not market the end of the litigation, however. In November 2021, a judge approved a $32 million arbitration decision against the driver of the fire truck, and the families—along with the firefighters’ union—have sued the city, saying it is responsible for paying the full amount. That case remains ongoing.  

The tragic incident—which was caught on surveillance video from no fewer than five different angles—occurred in December 2021 when a Pumper 5 fire truck being driven by Kansas City firefighter Dominic Biscari entered an intersection against a red light and slammed into a Honda CRV containing Jennifer San Nicolas and Michael Elwood, who worked together at a local market. The careening vehicles then struck two pedestrians—Tami Knight and her boyfriend Alexander Llera—before slamming into an unoccupied building, which partially collapsed from the impact.  

San Nicolas, the driver of the Honda CRV, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the crash. The bodies of Elwood and Knight were not discovered until the following day, when they were found buried in the rubble. Llera suffered injuries but survived the incident.  

Tragically, the Kansas City Star reported that a dispatcher had instructed the Pumper 5’s crew to “stand down” and “remain in quarters” just moments before the crash occurred. Further, the driver Biscari previously had been the subject of complaints about his unsafe driving.  

Llera, the victims’ families, and the owner of the damaged building subsequently sued the city and Biscari, with the arbitrator’s $32 million award against Biscari including $9 million to the mother of San Nicholas; $9 million to the parents of Elwood; $11 million to Knight’s mother; $2 million to the injured Llera; and $1.4 to the business that owned the damaged building, according to The Star.  

With Biscari’s private auto insurance policy paying out only $80,000 to each family, the legal fight is now on to hold the city accountable for its employee’s deadly actions. The next case management conference in that case is scheduled for February 28.    

If you or a loved one has been hurt in an auto collision, contact today for a free legal consultation!  


 Klick, Andrea. (19 January 2023). KC to pay $1.3 million to families of Westport fire truck crash victims, lawsuit ongoing. The Kansas City Star.

 Cronkleton, Robert A. (26 August 2022). Videos show KC fire truck and SUV enter Westport intersection before deadly crash. The Kansas City Star.    

Mother of Teen Killed in Crash with Police Sues for $2.3m  

The mother of an 18-year-old who was killed in a fatal collision with a speeding police vehicle has filed a lawsuit seeking $2.3 million in damages over the death of her son, local CBS affiliate WTVR reported January 17.  

The deadly crash occurred on April 7, 2022, when two officers with the Richmond, Virginia police department were responding to a reported burglary. Officer Richard D. Johnson was behind the wheel of the RPD vehicle when it entered the intersection of Castlewood and Bells, where it collided with a Buick being driven by 18-year-old Jeremiah Ruffin, with 19-year-old Tracey Williams as his passenger.  

Williams was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Ruffin would succumb to his injuries several days later, WTVR reported at the time.  

The lawsuit filed by Jeremiah’s mother Candice Ruffin claims that the negligence of RPD and Johnson were responsible for the death of her son, alleging that Johnson’s police cruiser did not have its siren or flashers on as it raced to the scene of the reported burglary. Johnson denies this allegation.  

In July 2022, a grand jury indicted Johnson on four criminal counts, including two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter. The other two indictments were for the misdemeanors reckless driving and failure to yield right of way.  

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, contact today for a free consultation!  


WTVR CBS 6 Web Staff. (17 January 2023). Mother of teen killed in crash involving RPD vehicle files $2.3 million wrongful death lawsuit.  

WTVR CBS 6 Web Staff. (20 April 2022). Teenager succumbs to injuries from crash involving RPD vehicle. WTVR.  

WTBR CBS 6 Web Staff. (12 July 2022). Richmond police officer charged in April crash that killed 2 teens. WTVR.  

Parents of 3-Year-Old Killed in Fatal Chicago Bike Crash with 18-Wheeler File Suit  

On June 9, a mother was riding her bike near Leland Avenue in Chicago with her 3-year-old daughter strapped into her bike seat when the mother says she encountered a ComEd truck parked in the bike lane. In order to go around the utility truck, the mother veered into the main roadway, where she rode adjacent to a large, 18-wheel truck operated by Mondelez. The mother’s bike and the truck ultimately collided, and when the bike crashed in the street, the truck struck the 3-year-old daughter, killing her.  

The parents of the deceased child have now sued the city of Chicago, ComEd, Mondelez, and truck rental company Penske, seeking to hold them responsible for their daughter’s death, CBS Chicago reported January 17.  

According to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, the ComEd truck had been issued a permit to work not on Leland Avenue, where the incident occurred, but on Winthrop, one street over.  

If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, contact today for a free legal consultation!  


CBS Chicago News Team. (17 January 2023). Family suing city, ComEd, after 3-year-old killed in bike crash. CBS News Chicago.

Car Accident Roundup

January 3, 2023
Author: Daniel Gala

Staten Island, NY: Previously Dismissed Case Settles for $1.1m

On October 25, 2013, then-62-year-old Camille Manning was driving her 2013 Lexus in Staten Island, New York when Barbara Bassi, driving a 2010 Honda CRV, attempted to make a U-turn. In the process, Bassi struck Manning’s vehicle.

In the aftermath, Manning sued Bassi, alleging that the crash caused her serious neck and back injuries that required a cervical discectomy and fusion. At trial, a jury found in favor of the plaintiff Manning, but, before the jury could determine the appropriate amount of damages, the judge dismissed the case, citing a lack of evidence that Manning’s injuries met the requirements for compensation under New York insurance law.

Manning appealed the judge’s decision, and the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department unanimously reversed the trial judge’s dismissal of the case, stating that there had, indeed, been a sufficient basis for jurors to conclude “that the plaintiff sustained a serious injury to the cervical region of her spine,” SI Live reported January 2.

The jury’s original verdict in favor of the plaintiff having been restored, the appellate court then called for a new jury to be selected to hear evidence over the amount of damages. However, rather than allow the case to go back before a jury, lawyers for Bassi’s insurance company, Geico, decided instead to settle the case for a reported $1.1 million.

“Our client is very happy to put this behind her and go on with her life. She’s satisfied with the result, but of course she wishes it never happened,” a lawyer for the plaintiff told SI Live.

This lawsuit serves as yet another reminder that a case is never truly over until all appeals have been exhausted. 


Lawson, Kyle. (2 January 2023). Staten Island crash yield $1m payout in appeals court after trial judge tossed case.  

Montana: MSU Settles Lawsuit over Employee Crash in University-owned Vehicle for $390k

Montana State University (MSU) has agreed to pay $390,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a driver who was involved in a February 2021 collision with an MSU-owned vehicle being operated by an MSU employee, the St. Helena-based Independent Record reported December 30.   

The plaintiff, Josh Kilwein, alleged that he suffered serious injuries during the crash, which occurred when MSU employee David Gettel attempted to turn left from Ramshore Drive onto state Highway 85 in Gallatin County, Montana. Kilwein claimed that the collision injured his neck, back, and leg.

“This was a motor vehicle accident involving an MSU employee,” an MSU spokesman said, per the Independent Record. “The university accepted responsibility for the employee’s actions, and we feel it is a fair settlement to resolve the case.”

The spokesman further said that the monetary settlement would be paid via the university’s liability insurance.  


  Larson, Seaborn. (30 December 2022). MSU agrees to $390,000 settlement with driver after crash. Independent Record.

Illinois: Family Settles Lawsuit over Crash that Killed 17-Year-Old for $265k

At approximately 10 pm on August 2, 2022, Bryan R. Davis was driving a Volkswagen eastbound on Rakow Road in McHenry County, Illinois, when he attempted to pass another vehicle. During the maneuver, the Volkswagen spun out of control, rolling over and striking another vehicle in what ultimately would be a multi-vehicle crash.

During the collision, Davis’ passenger—17-year-old Riely Teuerle of Lake in the Hills, Illinois—was tragically killed. Teuerle’s family subsequently sued Davis, alleging that the driver had failed to exercise proper care and concern for the safety of others.

Now, the family has agreed to settle the case in exchange for $265,000, the Lake & McHenry County Scanner reported December 30. The amount represents the maximum available under the defendant Davis’s insurance policy.  

“We are all in shock at the loss of this amazing young man,” Teuerle’s aunt posted to social media at the time of his death in August, per the Scanner. “He was sweet, funny, loving and had a great future ahead of him. I’ll never understand why his life was taken.”


Borcia, Sam. (30 December 2022). Settlement reached in lawsuit against driver in rollover crash that killed 17-year-old boy in Lake in the Hills. The Lake & McHenry County Scanner.

 If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact for a free legal consultation!

Car Accident Roundup: Missouri Family Gets $500k for Fatal Rollover; Widow Sues over FedEx Truck Crash Caused by Tire Blowout

January 3, 2023
Author: Daniel Gala

Family Partially Settles for $500k in Crash That Killed Four    

On April 9, 2021, Amy Morse and Cody Grace were driving on Pear Street in St. Joseph, Missouri along with three children, including Amy’s daughter Rosalie Morse (age 3) and Cody’s children Braxtin (age 2) and Anastasia Grace (age 1). Tragically, their vehicle overturned in a flooded ditch and submerged with all five passengers trapped inside, all of whom were killed in the incident.    

In the aftermath, family members of the deceased passengers sued Hawk Truck Leasing—the owners of the land on which their loved ones died—and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, alleging that improper drainage led to their loved ones’ death.    

On Friday, December 16, a judge approved a $508,000 settlement between the plaintiff family members and Hawk Truck Leasing, the St. Joseph News-Press reported. Meanwhile, the family’s case against the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission remains ongoing, though advocates have succeeded in petitioning the Missouri Department of Transportation to improve the drainage on both sides of the street where the tragic incident occurred.    

  Women Whose Husband Was Killed in Crash with FedEx Truck Sues    

On September 21, 2022, a FedEx truck travelling along Interstate 10 in Alabama suffered a tire blowout, causing it to be rear-ended by the vehicle traveling behind it, a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. A fiery crash ensued, and although the driver of the second vehicle—32-year-old father Hamilton Platt—survived the initial collision, he was trapped inside the vehicle as it burned.      

Now, Hamilton’s widow Kelsie Platt is suing both FedEx and Goodyear, the manufacturer of the blown-out tire, NBC 15 News reported December 12.    

In her wrongful death lawsuit, Kelsie alleges that FedEx’s faulty retreading of the tire in question led to the tragic incident, which left the couple’s two children—ages five and eight—without their father.    

“It’s a hazard. It’s playing Russian roulette driving on the roadway with tires in this condition,” a lawyer for Kelsie Pratt told NBC 15 News. “All of this could have been prevented.”    

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, contact for a free legal consultation!    


St. Joseph News-Press, Mo. (20 December 2022). Family members reach partial settlement in Pear Street accident.    

Ramey, Andrea. (12 December 2022). Baldwin County widow claims FedEx used faulty tires in fatal crash. NBC 15 News.

Car Accident Lawsuit Roundup: First Suits Filed in Deadly Apple Store Crash; Resident of Home Damaged in Anne Heche Crash Sues Estate; “Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Sued over Alleged Hit-And-Run Crash

December 2, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

Apple Store Crash Victims Allege Barriers Could Have Prevented Incident    

The first lawsuits have been filed in the aftermath of a fatal crash during which a vehicle plowed into a Hingham, Massachusetts Apple Store, CBS Boston reported November 29. The suits allege that barriers should have been installed in front of the store to prevent such an incident from taking place.    

“This storefront was so vulnerable, it would have been a very easy fix,” a lawyer representing several of the victims told CBS News. “This tragedy was 100% preventable and for such a small cost. All they needed to do was put in cement barriers and that would prevent death and serious injuries.”    

The driver of the Toyota 4Runner that plowed into the Apple Store on the morning of Monday, November 21 faces criminal charges of reckless homicide by motor vehicle and reckless operation of a motor vehicle. The crash killed one person and injured 19, with some of those injuries being described as “life-threatening and limb-threatening.” Investigators have said that the driver was travelling approximately 60 miles per hour at the time of the crash.    

According to the Storefront Safety Council, between 2013 and 2022, there were more than 800 incidents of vehicles crashing into buildings in Massachusetts alone. None of these buildings had protective barriers, known as bollards.    

“Most major retail property owners and most major retailers understand the need for these things. Bollards are really effective if they are correctly installed,” Robert Reiter, a co-founder of the Storefront Safety Council, told CBS Boston.      

Anne Heche Estate Sued for At Least $2m over Damage Caused by Crash    

The resident of the home destroyed in an August 5 crash involving actress Anne Heche has sued the late actress’s estate for at least $2 million dollars, FFox News reported November 15.    

Lynne Mishele rented the home, where she lived with her pets. It erupted into flames after Heche’s Mini-Cooper slammed into it during the August 5 incident. Heche passed away roughly a week later from injuries sustained during the crash. The actress was 53.    

At the time of the incident, a lawyer for Mishele told Fox News Digital, “Ms. Mishele is devastated by what happened to her on Friday [August 5]—not only because she and her pets almost lost their lives but because all of her property, including items of profound sentimental value, were destroyed.”    

Mishele has since been diagnosed with cancer, although she underwent a successful surgery that will allow her to avoid chemotherapy, according to social media posts.      

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Faces Lawsuit over Alleged Hit-And-Run    

Jesse Williams—known most prominently for his role on television’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’—faces a lawsuit over a January 2020 vehicle collision that took place in Los Angeles, California, the Atlanta Black Star reported December 1.    

Plaintiff Paula Bruce claims that Williams rear ended her in his Porsche before fleeing the scene. Williams and his lawyer say that Williams stayed at the scene long enough to provide Bruce with his insurance information. Williams attorney also has said that Williams called police, who informed him that he could leave the scene because neither party had suffered physical injury.    

Bruce claims that she has been unable to work due to the emotional distress the collision has caused her and that Williams has failed to show up for in-person depositions related to her case. Bruce has requested that the court fine Williams $3,170 for his failure to appear at previously scheduled depositions and order him to attend a deposition in the future.    

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile crash, contact for a free legal consultation!      


Apple Store    

Fiandaca, Cheryl. (29 November 2022). I-Team: First lawsuit to be filed in deadly crash at Hingham Apple store. CBS Boston.    

CBS Staff. (22 November 2022). Bradley Rein, driver charged in deadly crash at Hingham Apple store, says it was an accident. CBS Boston.    

CBS Staff. (21 November 2022). 1 dead, 19 injured after SUV crashes into Apple Store in Hingham. CBS Boston.    

CBS Staff. (29 November 2022). Lawsuit claims deadly Hingham Apple store crash was ‘100 percent preventable.’ CBS Boston.    

Anne Heche    

Wright, Tracy. (15 November 2022). Anne Heche estate faces lawsuit filed by woman living in the LA home destroyed by fiery car crash. Fox News.    

Jesse Williams    

Jeune, Diamond. (1 December 2022). ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Actor Jesse Williams Is Being Sued for Allegedly Fleeing the Scene of an Intense Car Crash. Atlanta Black Star.

Car Accident Lawsuit: Family of Lamborghini Crash Victim Awarded $51m by NOLA Jury

November 16, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

On May 4, 2016, 23-year-old Kristi Lynn Lirette was working as a bartender and server at Wayfare on Freret Street in New Orleans. At the end of her shift, she took a shot of alcohol with 36-year-old Jason Adams, after which the pair went for a ride in Adams’ Lamborghini Huracan sportscar.   

During the ride, as Adams’ vehicle clocked a speed of 118 mph, the Lamborghini struck a curb, sending the car crashing into the Tchoupitoulas Street floodwall. During the collision, Adams was ejected from the vehicle, suffering only a broken leg. Tragically, Lirette, who was wearing her seatbelt, was killed.   

Expressing little remorse in the immediate aftermath of the tragic incident, Adams said from a medical gurney, “I don’t feel like going to jail for hitting a curb,” reported. In subsequent days, Adams also would purchase a Ferrari to replace his totaled Lamborghini.   

Adams, who tests showed had a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit at the time of the crash, would indeed face criminal charges, ultimately pleading guilty to vehicular homicide and serving nine months in prison.   

Additionally, Lirette’s family sued Adams in Louisiana civil court, alleging wrongful death and seeking compensation for Lirette’s suffering. After a weeklong trial, they received some measure of vindication, with a jury awarding them a total of $51 million in damages. The verdict included $24 million for wrongful death, $2 million for Lirette’s suffering, and $25 million in punitive damages, according to   

“She would be smiling today,” Lirette’s father, Brett, said when asked how his daughter would have reacted to the verdict.   

Despite formerly being a real-estate broker and owner of a medical-billing business with enough wealth to afford a $200,000 sportscar, Adams filed for bankruptcy protection before trial. Still, an attorney for Lirette’s parents urged the jury to send a message with its verdict, regardless of Adams’ ability to pay.   

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile crash, contact today for a free legal consultation!   


Simerman, John. (7 November 2022). New Orleans jury awards $51 million over fatal Lamborghini crash on Tchoupitoulas Street.

Car Accident Lawsuit: State Farm Insurance Must Pay Woman $6.5m over Car Crash with Underinsured Motorist

October 22, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

On August 29, 2019, Meghan Grove was driving on US Highway 45 in Alabama when she was seriously injured in a car crash, suffering multiple broken bones including fractures to her wrist, elbow, and pelvis. Though the driver of the other vehicle was deemed to be to blame for the crash, that driver's insurance did not cover the full costs of Grove's injuries.   

To cover the remaining costs, Grove turned to her own insurance policy with multi-billion-dollar giant State Farm, through which she had underinsured motorist coverage, which is intended to protect the insured in just the sort of situation in which Grove found herself. However, State Farm refused to compensate Grove for her injuries. Grove then sued State Farm in an effort to compel the insurance company to pay.   

"State Farm refused to fully compensate Mrs. Grove and even attempted to blame the collision on Mrs. Grove—its own insured—contrary to the physical evidence documented at the scene by investigating law enforcement officers," attorneys representing Grove said in a statement, as reported by   

In court, State Farm argued that, if it were found to owe compensation to Grove, the damages should be limited by the terms of Grove's insurance policy.   

However, in early October, a Mobile, Alabama jury disagreed, ordering State Farm to pay Grove $6.5 million in damages.  


Faulk, Ken. (7 October 2022). Mobile jury awards $6.5 million to woman injured in 2019 crash.

Car Accident Lawsuit: Woman Hurt in Crash with Wash. St. DOT Gets $2.5m

October 17, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

A woman who was seriously injured in a rollover incident caused by a Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) vehicle has settled her case for $2.5 million, the Daily Herald of Everett, Washington reported October 10.   

On March 5, 2018, Monroe, Washington resident Kara Janneh and her two-year-old son were traversing a dangerous two-lane stretch of Highway 522 near Maltby. As Janneh drove her Jeep Cherokee, her son was snug in his car seat in the rear row. Suddenly a WSDOT pickup made an illegal u turn. Without time to react, Janneh’s vehicle was sent airborne and ultimately rolled over twice. While thankfully Janneh’s infant son was left relatively unscathed, Janneh herself suffered serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury.   

Janneh sued the department of transportation, claiming not only that the WSDOT employee had caused the accident but also that the employee had been trained to perform the dangerous, illegal maneuver that caused the crash.     

“This isn’t just an accident,” said a lawyer for Janneh, per the Daily Herald.   

Although Janneh filed her lawsuit in 2019, it was not until September 2022 that the department of transportation finally accepted responsibility for the crash. Shortly thereafter, WSDOT settled with Janneh for $2.5 million.   

The stretch of highway on which the accident occurred is notorious for serious—sometimes fatal—accidents. Though only three miles in length, Highway 522 from Paradise Lake Road to the Snohomish River Bridge previously was the site of a deadly 2014 crash that killed three people, including a baby girl, and, in 2020, another collision in the area ended with one person dead and another seriously hurt.   

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, contact for a free legal consultation!   


  Goldstein-Street, Jake. (10 October 2022). State pays $2.75 million to Monroe woman in ‘highway of death’ crash. The Daily Herald

Car Accident Lawsuit: Parents of Motorcyclist Killed in Crash with Pickup Truck to Receive $36.25m

October 3, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

In 2018, David Andrade was riding his motorcycle along a road in Southern California when a pickup truck being driven by Luis Tapia pulled out from a driveway, attempting to make a left-hand turn. Andrade’s motorcycle struck Tapia’s pickup truck, and Andrade tragically was killed during the ensuing crash.    

Andrade’s parents sued, claiming that Tapia was responsible for their son’s death. On September 16, a Los Angeles jury agreed, finding Tapia liable and ordering that Andrade’s parents be paid $36.25 million in damages.    

While attorneys for the defense argued in court that the accident was Andrade’s fault, a lawyer for Andrade’s parents urged the jury to see the case as being more clear cut than the defense was attempting to make it seem.    

“Mr. Andrade has the right of way, he had the right to rely on the good conduct of Mr. Tapia, and Mr. Tapia cut him off. That’s the case. That’s it, it’s over,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer told the jury during closing arguments, according to Courtroom View Network.    

While the jury did find that Andrade had been negligent in speeding prior to the collision and did have small amounts of methamphetamines in his system, the verdict reflects that the jury did not find these factors to have caused the fatal incident.    

In the end, the case hinged on the conduct of the pickup-truck driver Tapia, whose attorney argued that “[t]he evidence shows his conduct was reasonable under the circumstances.”    

“He went out slowly and cautiously to make sure the coast was clear,” Tapia’s lawyer said in court. “If the motorcycle was visible to him, then he was visible to the motorcycle.”    

Andrade’s lawyer portrayed the situation differently, arguing that Tapia should have been able to hear Andrade’s motorcycle approaching and that forensic reconstructions show Andrade’s motorcycle was visible to Tapia for about 20 seconds prior to the collision.    

“Is he distracted because he’s daydreaming? Is he distracted because of his phone? I don’t know; he hasn’t admitted it,” the lawyer for Andrade’s parents said. “But a reasonable inference just looking at how he rolls through this intersection tells you that he’s not paying attention.”    

Surveillance footage from surrounding buildings played a key role in reconstructing what happened during the crash.    

Ultimately, the jury sided with Andrade’s parents, finding Tapia responsible for their son’s death and awarding them $36.25 million in damages.      

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, contact for a free legal consultation!      


Siegel, David. (27 September 2022). LA Jury Awards $36.25M to Family of Motorcyclist Struck And Killed By Oncoming Truck. Courtroom View Network.

Car Accident Lawsuit: Ford Seeks New Trial after $1.7b F-250 Super Duty Verdict

October 3, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

Unsurprisingly, Ford Motor Co. is doing everything in its power to get out of the massive $1.7 billion verdict a Georgia jury delivered in August after finding that the automaker was responsible for two deaths caused by a crushed roof in a rollover accident involving a Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck.   

First, the company announced in the days following the verdict that it would be appealing the case, seeking to having the verdict overturned at the appellate level.     

Now, in a two separate filings submitted Monday, September 26, Ford is seeking a new trial altogether, arguing that the judge in the previous trial wrongly prevented it from presenting certain evidence it says demonstrates the safety of its pickups, while simultaneously challenging the validity of the stunning $1.7 billion in damages.     

“Ford didn’t get to put its case on,” an attorney for Ford told the Wall Street Journal. “It was fighting with two hands behind its back.”     

The original case involved the tragic deaths of Voncile and Melvin Hill, husband-and-wife farmers who were driving their 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck on their way to retrieve a replacement part for their tractor when they suffered a tire blowout that resulted in a rollover accident. During the crash, the roof of their vehicle completely collapsed, and both of the Hills were killed.     

At trial, lawyers for the Hill family argued that Voncile and Melvin’s deaths were the result of a structurally unsound roof that was present in all Ford Super Duty trucks for model years 1999 through 2016. As evidence, the plaintiffs pointed to more than 160 other lawsuits filed against Ford over injuries and deaths allegedly caused by crushed roofs.     

In the end, the jury agreed with the plaintiffs, hitting Ford with the massive $1.7 billion verdict, the vast majority of which was for punitive damages, intended to punish Ford for its wrongdoing.     

However, Ford clearly is now doing everything it can to have the verdict nullified, whether on appeal or by successfully arguing for a new trial. The company continues to insist that there has never been anything unsafe about the structure or design of the roofs on its best-selling Super Duty trucks.     

“There are millions of these vehicles on the road around the United States,” the Ford lawyer said. “The safety record speaks for itself.”     

Apparently, at least 160 plaintiffs strongly disagree.     

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, contact for a free legal consultation!     


Associated Press. (21 August 2022). Ford to Appeal $1.7 Billion Verdict in Georgia Truck Crash.     

Eckert, Nora and Ryan Felton. (26 September 2022). Ford asks for new trial after $1.7 billion jury verdict in truck rollover lawsuit. The Wall Street Journal.

Car Accident Lawsuit: Jury: Ford Must Pay $1.7b in Fatal 2014 F-250 Rollover Crash

September 7, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

In 2014, 62-year-old Voncile Hill and 74-year-old Melvin Hill were driving along a highway in Sumter County, Georgia in their 2002 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck. The husband-and-wife farmers were on their way to pick up a needed part for their tractor.   

Suddenly, one of the truck’s tires—which had been installed by Pep Boys—blew out, and the vehicle rolled over. Despite the “Super Duty” moniker, the truck’s roof was of insufficient strength to support the weight of the vehicle, and the roof completely collapsed, killing both Voncile and Melvin.   

The couple’s adult children Kim and Adam sued Ford Motor Company, Pep Boys, and others over the crash, alleging that Ford had manufactured and sold more than 5 million Super Duty trucks with defective roofs that would kill or seriously injure anyone inside the cabin during a rollover. They also claimed that Pep Boys had installed the wrong size tires on the vehicle, which caused the blowout that resulted in the fatal accident.   

The case first went to trial in 2018 but the result was a mistrial. Finally, on August 19, 2022, following a three-week trial and roughly 8 years after the Hill’s tragic deaths, a Georgia-based jury sided with their children, ordering Ford to pay a record $1.7 billion in punitive damages. The jury also found Pep Boys to be 30% responsible for the incident.   

“The Hill family is thankful to the jury for their verdict, and glad to get this phase of the litigation over with, finally,” said the lead attorney representing the plaintiffs, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “An award of punitive damages to hopefully warn people riding around in the millions of those trucks Ford sold was the reason the Hill family insisted on a verdict [rather than settling the case].”   

Under Georgia state law, 75% of the punitive damages will go to the state. Still, having submitted evidence of almost 80 nearly identical accidents in which the collapsed roof of a Ford Super Duty truck led to death or serious injury, the lawyer for the Hill family emphasized the deterrent impact of the record sum.     

“These trucks have killed dozens, if not hundreds of people,” he said, adding that evidence showed the elder Hills could have survived the crash were it not for the roof collapse.   

While the record punitive damages verdict was issued on Friday, August 19, the day prior, the jury had awarded the Hills’ children $24 million in compensatory damages for their parents’ wrongful death and for the children’s own pain and suffering.   

Whereas compensatory damages—true to their name—are intended to compensate victims for the harms caused by others, punitive damages are intended to act as a punishment for wrongdoers and a deterrent to keep the same party or others from engaging in the same or similar behaviors again in the future.     

The $1.7 billion punitive damages verdict is almost four-fold the previous record for Georgia, which came down 24 years ago in a case involving a contract dispute between media conglomerate Time Warner and the theme park operator Six Flags Over Georgia. That verdict was for $357 million.     

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an automobile accident, contact for a free legal consultation!     


Malik, Alia. Jury Imposes $1.7 billion verdict, largest in state history, against Ford. Atlanta Journal-Constitution.   

Kennedy, Dana. (20 August 2022). Jury slams Ford with $1.7B verdict over deadly 2014 crash. NY Post.

Car Accident Lawsuit: Family of Ala. Teen Killed by Ex-Cop in Crash Sues Driver, City

August 2, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

On January 10, 2021, 18-year-old Kenya Reed was in her senior year at McIntosh High School in Chickasaw, Alabama, where she was not only a basketball player and member of the cheer squad but also a potential school valedictorian. After having dinner with her mother, Kenya left to drive home. On her way, Kenya exited Interstate 65 and stopped at a stop sign.      

The area where Kenya was located had been designated a “known dangerous location” due to a hill that obstructed drivers’ views of other vehicles. Regardless, former Chickasaw police officer Michael Hand was barreling down the roadway—the speed limit for which was 30 miles per hour—at 96 mph.      

Hand had a history of disregarding safety when it came to operating his police vehicle. In June 2020, Hand crashed his cruiser into that of a Saraland police officer during a high-speed pursuit—after Hand had been ordered not to engage in the chase. Nonetheless, in January 2021, Hand was flying down the road at nearly 100 miles per hour in a police cruiser. A release issued by Reed’s family describes the situation as follows:      

“Officer Hand was allegedly en route to assist another officer with a disorderly person call at approximately 8 pm and traveling 96 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone approaching a hilled overpass with an obstructed view on West Lee Street near Interstate 65. Kenya was exiting the southbound lane of I-65 in her Honda Accord when her vehicle was broadsided on the driver’s side by Hand’s police car. Kenya suffered horrendous injuries as a result of the impact and died a short time later.”      

In response, Kenya Reed’s family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Hand and the city of Chickasaw, WALA reported July 28.      

“We’re here today, and we shouldn’t be frankly,” a lawyer representing Reed’s family said during a news conference arranged to announce the lawsuit. “Driving the way [former officer Hand] was driving that day was, frankly, inexcusable.”      

Explaining why the city of Chickasaw was included as a defendant in the family’s lawsuit, the lawyer pointed to Hand’s prior history of vehicle-related indiscretions.      

“There are prior events involving this particular driver in his capacity as a police officer,” the lawyer said, per WALA. “It would leave reasonable minds to conclude that he was not the right person situated for the job and was improperly trained.”      

Following the crash, Hand left the Chickasaw Police Department and began working as an officer in nearby Citronelle. He subsequently resigned from that post after a grand jury indicted him on a charge of criminally negligent homicide related to the crash that killed Kenya Reed. That charge was later dismissed after a judge ruled that the indictment had not come within the one-year statute of limitations. Criminally negligent homicide is a misdemeanor under Alabama state law.      

Local prosecutors have left open the possibility that Hand will be charged again under a different criminal offense.      

“[T]here is no statute of limitations for any other homicide offense if prosecution is deemed warranted for that,” said Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Louis Walker.      

The civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by Reed’s family seeks unspecified damages.      

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, contact today for a free legal consultation!        


Librenjak, Lisa. (28 July 2022). Family of 18-year-old killed in crash with Chickasaw Police officer announces lawsuits. WPMI NBC 15 News.      

Kirby, Brendan. (28 July 2022). Family of McIntosh teen sues Chickasaw, former cop over fatal car accident. WALA Fox News 10

Car Accident Lawsuit: W. Va. Jury Finds Ford Responsible for Fatal Mustang Crash, Awards Family $7m

June 7, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

On March 22, 2016, 19-year-old Breanna Bumgarner was driving her 2014 Ford Mustang along U.S. 33 near Spencer, West Virginia. Traveling in the opposite direction was Anna Errickson, a minor at the time, driving a 1989 Toyota pickup truck. After momentarily swerving off the road by accident, Errickson overcompensated, steering back onto the road and across the center line, where her pickup struck Bumgarner’s Mustang near the front of the driver’s side. The collision ruptured the Mustang’s brake fluid reservoir, and, moments later, the brake fluid ignited, causing a fire in the vehicle’s engine compartment. The fire rapidly spread to the passenger area. Tragically, during the crash, the vehicle door also was damaged and became wedged shut. Despite numerous bystanders attempting to free her from the vehicle and despite suffering only minor injuries in the crash, Bumgarner was trapped inside, where she burned to death.    

In March 2018, Angel Tyler—Bumgarner’s mother and the administrator of her estate—sued Ford Motor Co., the driver Anna Errickson, and her parents in Kanawha County Circuit Court. The lawsuit alleged that the 2014 Ford Mustang driven by Bumgarner was defectively designed because the brake fluid reservoir was inadequately protected in the event of a crash, causing the fire that killed Bumgarner. The lawsuit further claimed that the Mustang’s safety cage was made from the same kind of steel as the vehicle’s crumple zones, which are designed to absorb the impact of a collision by essentially being crushed during a crash.    

“Ford knowingly concealed vital information about the fire hazard of the vehicle they manufactured,” an attorney for Bumgarner’s estate said in a statement. “They failed to address the defect or provide adequate safety measures to protect the driver’s compartment in the event of a fire.”    

While the plaintiffs sued the driver Anna Errickson for negligence, their claims against Ford Motor Co. included products liability, breach of implied warranty, negligence, and willful, wanton and reckless misconduct regarding vehicle safety.    

Lawyers for Bumgarner’s estate argued that, while Errickson’s negligence was responsible for the crash itself, Ford was at fault for Bumgarner’s death. In the end, a jury agreed, finding Ford 99% responsible and Errickson 1% responsible while awarding the plaintiffs $7 million, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported May 18.      

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident for which you or they were not at fault, contact for a free legal consultation!    


Kersey, Lori. (18 May 2022). Kanawha Jury awards $7m from Ford to family over woman’s crash death. Charleston Gazette-Mail    

Beasley Allen Law Firm. (18 May 2022). $7 million verdict reached in vehicle fire death case against Ford

Car Accident Lawsuit: Families of Teens Killed in High-Speed Police Chase Sue City of Yonkers, PD

March 30, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

Alleging that police mishandled a high-speed pursuit that resulted in the death of four teens as well as the man police were attempting to pull over, the families of at least three of the victims have sued the city of Yonkers and the Yonkers Police Department over the December 2020 tragedy. The families filed their lawsuits separately, the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reported March 23.    

Police claim they observed 36-year-old Mount Vernon resident Devon Haywood driving erratically and subsequently attempted to pull him over. Rather than comply, Haywood sped off. It is at this point that the story told by Yonkers police and the one alleged by the victims’ families in their lawsuits begin to diverge.    

While both the city and the police department declined to comment on the recently filed lawsuits, the day after the incident, a police department spokesperson said that the officers who had attempted to pull Haywood over did not give chase in an attempt to avoid just this sort of tragic outcome.    

However, the lawsuits filed by the victim’s families contend otherwise, accusing police of instigating the high-speed pursuit, a move that one of the lawsuits describes as “unduly dangerous under the circumstances,” according to the Journal News.    

“It was the duty of the defendants (to)…direct police officers and/or personnel in the proper, appropriate and required care, precautions and conduct to be exercised in attempting to follow, chase, and/or apprehend a vehicle,” argues another one of the lawsuits.    

Attorneys for the families say their clients are hoping the lawsuit will reveal more detail about exactly what happened that day. One attorney said that his client is viewing the discovery phase of the litigation as an opportunity for the families to “learn exactly what the police were doing at the time that led to this terrible collision and the death of all these young people.”    

The statement acts a reminder that, in addition to being a means for seeking monetary and other damages, civil litigation also can be an avenue for gaining access to information that could not be obtained by any other means. A second attorney representing a different family echoed the sentiment, saying that the lawsuits represented a chance to get to “the bottom of what happened and give the families some piece of mind.”    

The four teenage victims—Brandon Sierra, Randy Brisbane, Tamari Watkins, and Anthony Cruz—were all 18 years old and recent graduates of Saunders Trades and Technical High School. They were all killed when Haywood’s speeding vehicle struck the 2006 Nissan they were riding in.    

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident that was not your fault, contact today for a free consultation!    


Propper, David. (23 March 2022). Yonkers police sued over collision that killed f our city teenagers in 2020. Rockland/Westchester Journal News

Car Accident Lawsuit: Family of Bystander Victim in Fatal Police Chase Settles for $11m

March 14, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

On a Saturday morning in March 2021, a police officer in the city of Portsmouth, Virginia observed a woman in a store whom he thought he recognized. Waiting outside until she exited, he watched to see which vehicle she entered and ran the plates. The report came back indicating that the woman—identified as Ciara Elliot—was wanted on suspicion of several alleged crimes, including driving on a suspended license, fraud, and forgery.   

The Portsmouth police officer followed Elliot in her Jeep Wrangler, attempting to get her to pull over. Instead, Elliot fled. In a move that city officials would later acknowledge was reckless, the officer gave chase. During the ensuing high-speed pursuit, the vehicles reached speeds of up to 90 miles per hour on surface streets in densely populated areas.   

“You just don’t do something like that unless it’s a hostage situation or something else where people are in immediate danger,” attorney Jeffrey Breit would comment later, according to The Virginian-Pilot. “They had her address. They had her license plate. They could have just gone and found her.”   

As the police officer chased Elliot at speeds approaching triple digits, Calvin Majette III and his wife Tamika Pleas—parents of three children—were crossing the intersection of California Road and Victory Boulevard in their Chrysler 200 sedan. Elliot, still being pursued by the Portsmouth police officer, ran the red light at the same intersection and broadsided the couple’s car.   

Majette died on impact, and Pleas suffered injuries that would alter her life forever, including broken bones, internal bleeding, and severe brain trauma. Pleas fractured every rib in her body and was forced to have her spleen surgically removed. Worse yet, she suffered serious harm to her brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for higher-order thought and behavior. She will require lifelong care.   

City officials were quick to acknowledge the officer had acted recklessly in instigating and then continuing the dangerous chase, with City Attorney Burle Stromberg meeting with attorneys for Pleas and her family multiple times in an effort to settle the case.   

Those efforts paid off, with the family settling their claims for $11 million, their attorneys announced March 7, allowing the family to forego the trauma and uncertainty of a trial. The $11 million sum reportedly was the maximum that the city’s insurance would pay out per occurrence.     

Some of the money will be used to purchase a larger house where Pleas’ sister—a nurse who now cares for her sister full-time—can live, while a sizeable portion of the remainder will go toward the medical care Pleas will need for the rest of her life. Some of the money also will be placed into trust funds for the couple’s children, ages 18, 15, and 12, The Virginian-Pilot reported.   

“This family sadly will never be the same again,” said another of the family’s attorneys. “Not only did these children lose their father, they lost the mother they knew. She will never be the same again.”   

If you or a loved is ever seriously injured in an automobile accident, contact for a free legal consultation!   


Harper, Jane. (7 March 2022). Portsmouth agrees to $11 million settlement with family of man killed in high-speed police chase. The Virginian-Pilot

Car Accident Lawsuit: Jury Awards FLA Woman $16m from Her Own Insurance Company After Car Crash

February 28, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

A 29-year-old Florida woman has received a $16.4 million jury verdict against her insurer Travelers Home and Marine Insurance after the company failed to pay out her uninsured motorist claim in a timely manner, the Florida Times-Union reported February 17.  

On December 15, 2018, Jacksonville resident Jessica Long was rear-ended while idling in stop-and-go traffic on Interstate 95, sustaining “multiple spinal abnormalities in her neck and lawyer back,” her lawyers said.   

Although the driver of the other vehicle was at fault, the driver’s Allstate insurance was “insufficient” to cover the claim, court records show. Meanwhile, Long’s policy included limits of $100,000 for bodily injury and $300,000 per accident.   

Although Long sought payment from Travelers under her uninsured motorist policy, according to her lawyers, the insurance company refused to pay despite several chances to do so. Under the verdict, Travelers is ordered to pay the entire $16.4 million.   

While the driver and owner of the other vehicle both argued that Long failed to mitigate damages, Long’s lawyers said that her injuries are life-altering and that her condition will deteriorate further as she ages.   

“Most regrettably, her condition will grow worse with time,” said a lawyer for the plaintiff Long. “From her ability to do her job, to the ordinary simple pleasures of life, nearly every possible aspect of our client’s life was affected—and will continue to be—by her permanent injuries.”   

The fact that Long recovered $16.4 million from her own insurance company under her uninsured motorist coverage shows the importance of having an experienced, knowledgeable attorney protecting your rights, even when it comes to dealing with your own insurer.   

For a free legal consultation, contact today!   


Lewin, Katherine. (17 February 2022). Injured Jacksonville woman, 29, awarded $16 million after 2018 car crash on Interstate 95. Florida Times-Union

Car Accident Lawsuit: Boston Man Sues Uber For $63m Over Crash That Left Him Paralyzed

February 2, 2022
Author: Daniel Gala

A 31-year-old former restaurant worker has sued rideshare giant Uber and one of its drivers for $63 million after an April 30, 2021 accident left him paralyzed, the Boston Globe reported January 25.   

Will Good had summoned an Uber to drive him from his job at a restaurant in Boston to his home in Somerville, but during the ride, the Uber driver crashed into a parked car. Good—who slammed into a headrest—was paralyzed, becoming quadriplegic for life.   

In his lawsuit, Good focuses on allegations that Uber did not adequately screen the driver’s safety record, thereby putting passengers and the public at large in danger.   

“The consuming passenger here in Massachusetts is led to believe that Uber is in the business of vetting, screening, and holding its drivers to certain standards, when in fact, that’s really not true in many, many cases and that leads directly to what happened here,” a lawyer for the plaintiff Good told the Boston Globe. “Now we have a 31-year-old man who had a life, and a career, that’s been completely derailed, completely ruined.”   

Following the accident, Good was forced to spend two months in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, after which he spent two months at a rehabilitation center before transitioning back to life at home, where he relies on professional caretakers working in shifts.   

One of the questions that Good’s lawsuit raises is just how much legal responsibility Uber and other rideshare operators have for the actions of their companies’ drivers. While some—including many rideshare drivers themselves—argue that the drivers are employees whose employers are liable for their conduct within the scope of their business, rideshare companies themselves have spent hundreds of millions of dollars contesting this notion in court and at the ballot box.   

Multibillion-dollar rideshare giants like Uber and Lyft for years have argued that their business models cannot work unless their drivers are classified as independent contractors, while simultaneously lauding the “freedom to be one’s own boss” and other supposed benefits this classification gives drivers. Critics, on the other hand, contend that the companies are merely using a legal fiction to avoid the additional expense of employees, who have legal protections including the right to a minimum wage and the ability to unionize.   

“The product Uber is selling is driving,” another lawyer for Good told the Globe. “They can’t simply say, well, you know, our business model is to draw the passengers into the car and charge them when they get out and then take no responsibility for what happens while they’re in the car.”    

According to Good’s lawsuit, his driver at the time of the accident had a decades-long track record of dangerous driving, and yet Uber allowed him onto their platform anyway. Dating back to 1996, the driver had received at least 20 different traffic citations, even being forced by the state to undergo mandatory driver retraining. Still, somehow Uber allowed the individual to work as a professional driver, shuttling around paying customers.     


Alanez, Tonya. (25 January 2022). Uber passenger paralyzed in crash sues company for $63 million. The Boston Globe

Car Accident Lawsuit: Family of DUI Crash Victims Awarded $301 Billion in Largest-Ever U.S. Personal Injury Verdict

December 12, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

The surviving family members of a grandmother and her 16-year-old granddaughter killed by a drunk driver in November 2017 were awarded the largest personal-injury verdict in United States history December 7, with a Texas jury finding that the family is owed $1.04 billion in “actual damages” and $300 billion in “exemplary damages,” local news outlets reported.    

Beyond the record-setting sum, the verdict is significant because of who the defendant is: Not the individual who had been driving under the influence, who also perished in the crash, but the bar where he had been overserved and its owners.    

The late driver Joshua Delbosque had been served 11 alcoholic beverages at now-defunct Beer Belly’s Sports Bar and had a blood alcohol level of .263 at the time of the fatal accident, local affiliate ABC13 reported based on court records.      

Under Texas law, as in most states, the legal limit for intoxication is a blood alcohol level of .08%.    

“Beer Belly’s either knew or should have known that Delbosque was a danger to himself and others based on his intoxication and lack of control over his mental and physical faculties,” the lawsuit filed by the victims’ family alleged, according to CNN.    

Despite the staggering verdict, the family expects to see little, if any, of the money. The defendant Beer Belly’s clearly would not have anywhere near the assets to pay almost one-third of a trillion dollars, even if it were still a going concern, which it is not. After Beer Belly’s liquor license expired in September 2019, it was subsequently canceled by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).    

“This case illustrates the consequences of selling alcohol to a person who’s already had too much,” a TABC spokesperson told CNN. “Texas law requires alcohol retailers to cut off customers who show signs of intoxication. Those who violate the law could face significant financial and legal consequences if their actions contribute to loss of life.”    

In addition to Beer Belly’s and its former owners’ inability to cover such a massive verdict with their own assets, establishments that sell alcohol in Texas are not required to have the kind of insurance that would cover such judgments against them.    

“[S]ince Texas does not require bars and restaurants who serve alcohol to have insurance this happens all too often,” an attorney for the victims’ family told CNN. “If bars and restaurants are required to carry insurance for this then insurance carriers would have oversight from that industry helping to make sure this does not happen again.”    

On November 12, 2017, 59-year-old Tamra Kay Kindred picked up her 16-year-old granddaughter, Aujuni Tamay Anderson, from her job at a pizza parlor in Corpus Christi, Texas. As Kindred’s vehicle passed through an intersection, a vehicle driven by Delbosque ran a red light at a high rate of speed, resulting in a violent collision that killed all three. It later was estimated that Delbosque’s vehicle had been traveling at 91 mph as it entered the intersection.    

While the historic verdict may end up being merely symbolic, the plaintiffs and their lawyers hope that it will send an important message that will help prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.    

“To every bartender, bar owner, and server, it’s OK to care enough about your customer and not let them get drunk and drive,” the plaintiffs told CNN in an email.    


KSAT. (10 December 2021). Texas jury awards $301 billion settlement in lawsuit against bar for fatal drunken driving crash    

ABC13 KTRK. Jury awards Texas family $300 billion over 2017 DWI crash that killed teen and her grandmother    

Ebrahimji, Alisha. (10 December 2021). A jury awarded the family of two drunk driving victims more than $301 billion, but they don’t anticipate seeing any of it. CNN


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