Debra J. Williams, et al. v. Carey Royals and Waste Services USA, Inc.
Catastrophic Accident Litigation
C. A. File No. 2000C06-0077
Plaintiff Debra Williams and her son, Andrew, were injured when they struck a garbage truck being operated by Defendants when the truck made a left hand turn in front of Ms. Williams' vehicle. Defendants asserted comparative negligence on the part of Mrs. Williams for driving too fast for conditions. Mrs. Williams suffered numerous injuries including a ruptured spleen that was surgically removed, fractured eye orbit, an alleged head injury with memory problems, and a laceration to the right arm. Andrew Williams, who was 3 yrs. old at the time of the accident, sustained a severe fracture of the right tibia fibula, a skull laceration and skull fracture, and a severe tongue laceration which, combined with the blow to the head, the family argued caused a serious speech articulation defect. Plaintiffs' medical providers testified that the speech articulation defect would be permanent and impair Andrew for life. Defendants' medical experts opined otherwise. Plaintiffs also sought punitive damages which were allowed to proceed to the jury. Punitives were sought based upon the manner in which the Defendant company hired an trained its driver. The lowest demand before trial was $990,000. Highest offer before trial was $500,000.