A major $3.5 million jury verdict was awarded against a drunk driver who seriously injured a middle school teacher in Newport News, Virginia (VA). This incredible verdict was featured in Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
“This was a rewarding case. Our client wanted a trial. She didn’t want to settle, and she didn’t want to negotiate. She simply wanted her day in court, to have a jury of seven people from her community decide the case. I’m proud to say that our system of civil jury trials worked, and that seven strangers made the fair decision – and the right decision – for our client,” said Ed Booth, an attorney who joined our firm weeks after this verdict was returned, who now practices law with a different Virginia Beach law firm.
The accident occurred on Lucas Creek Road, a residential street with a posted speed limit of 35 mph. The at-fault driver crossed the double yellow line and struck Ed’s client head-on. The at-fault driver exhibited signs of intoxication at the scene, and an empty vodka bottle was found in his back seat (pictured left). The teacher suffered debilitating, permanent injuries, including anoxic brain damage. If that wasn’t bad enough, she broke almost every major bone in her body, and underwent open reduction with internal fixation to all three bones in her right leg, her left femur, left elbow and hipbone. She also suffered a collapsed lung, traumatic pancreatitis, respiratory failure, hemorrhagic shock, internal bleeding and removal of the gallbladder, in addition to multiple soft tissue injuries. As you can see, this was a serious, life-altering incident – and totally preventable. If the at-fault driver had exercised reasonable care and caution and not gotten behind the wheel while being intoxicated maybe, just maybe, this terrible accident could have been avoided. This type of verdict sends a signal that drunk driving will not be tolerated in the Commonwealth of Virginia.