DBJ Wins $25 Million Jury Verdict for Girl Injured in Truck Accident

DBJ won a $25 million Jackson County, Missouri jury verdict for a 7-year-old girl who suffered a skull fracture and brain injury when her family’s minivan was rear-ended by a truck.

Anna Berthelsen and her family were stopped in traffic in a construction zone in the Grandview Triangle, a Kansas City highway interchange notorious for accidents, undergoing a long-term construction project. A URS Corporation truck slammed into the rear of the vehicle, where Anna was sitting. The truck was traveling 65 mph in a 45 mph zone.

The defense argued that the truck’s driver did not have time to react when the Berthelsens’ minivan stopped suddenly. But plaintiffs’ attorneys prepared an exhibit featuring an aerial photo overlaid with 15 signs warning motorists of the upcoming construction. “When I put this exhibit up in opening statement,” said attorney Scott S. Bethune of  DBJ, “several of the jurors reacted physically and some even verbally sighed.”

This case, involving devastating injuries to a 7-year-old girl, was particularly difficult emotionally for the family’s attorneys. “We have young kids and we see some of the things this family is going through and it’s easy to see this happening to us,” Bethune said.

DBJ’s Grant L. Davis agreed. “Anna had no control over this,” Davis said. “She was sitting in the back of the minivan holding one of her stuffed animals and the corporation smashed into her and she has to live the rest of her life like that.”

Davis also noted that injuries to children can be deceptive. “Children won’t appear as injured as they are sometimes,” he said. “As they grow older their injuries become more apparent.”

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins $17M Verdict in Cape Girardeau County Railroad Crossing Case

A Missouri jury awarded DBJ client E.H.S. $17 million for major injuries sustained in a collision that occurred in 2016.  The accident occurred at a concrete traffic barrier at a BNSF railroad crossing on Route AB in rural Cape Girardeau County.

DBJ represents those who have been seriously injured at railroad crossings and through other negligence of railroad companies. If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of railway companies, please contact DBJ today.

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Tractor-Trailer Crash Settlement of $9.5 Million

DBJ achieved a $9.5 million settlement for the parents of a 15-year-old girl who was killed in an accident with a tractor-trailer. The girl was a passenger in a pickup truck on westbound Interstate 70 when a tractor-trailer driving east crossed the median and hit the pickup head-on, killing her and four others.

The trucking company argued that its driver lost consciousness from a lack of blood flow to the brain during a violent coughing spell. The plaintiffs, led by Grant L. Davis and Scott S. Bethune of DBJ, contended that the accident was caused by driver fatigue because the driver was ill and taking cold medication.

The plaintiffs planned testimony from trucking experts regarding federal hours of service regulation, a scientist and author on sleep patterns and fatigue, and a toxicologist on impairment caused by cold medicine.

The plaintiffs subpoenaed records from the driver’s debit card, which allowed them to track his movements and show that he exceeded the federally mandated hours of service regulations by over 20 hours during the previous week. The plaintiffs argued that it was the trucking company’s policy of paying drivers by the load that encouraged him to exceed federal mandates.

The case was settled for $9.5 million before trial.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Double Amputation After Truck Accident Results in $6.7 Million Settlement

DBJ negotiated a $6.7 million settlement on behalf of a woman whose right arm and leg had to be amputated after a truck in which she was riding drove off an entrance ramp. As the truck entered the ramp, the driver lost control and the trailer being pulled by the truck swung back and forth, causing the truck to flip over the retaining wall and falling 15 feet onto I-70. The plaintiff received severe injuries to her arm and leg, which were later amputated.

Plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the driver had worked excessive hours, suffered from driver fatigue, and was driving too fast as he approached the ramp. They also claimed the cargo was improperly loaded, causing it to shift and contribute to the driver’s loss of control, and the maintenance companies failed to maintain and service the trailer’s brakes.

The insurer for the driver and owner of the truck contributed $1 million, the insurer for the company that loaded the cargo contributed $200,000, and the insurers for the maintenance companies contributed $5.5 million.

The plaintiff was represented by Scott S. Bethune and Timothy L. Brake of DBJ.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Fatal Head-On Tractor-Trailer Collision Ends with $3.3 Million Settlement

DBJ secured a $3.3 million settlement for the family of a Missouri man killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer. Moark Egg Corp. and its subsidiary, Premier Farms, are responsible for over $3 million of the settlement on behalf of their employee, the driver of the truck.

Donald Keller, 57, was killed when the tractor-trailer veered into his lane and struck his pickup truck head-on. A Missouri State Highway Patrol accident report cited the driver of the tractor-trailer as inattentive, and he was unable to brake in time when a car stopped for a left turn in front of him.

About six weeks prior to the accident, another Premier Farms driver had alerted the company to safety concerns about this particular tractor-trailer, but nothing was done. After the accident, the Highway Patrol’s commercial vehicle enforcement unit found problems with the tractor-trailer’s brakes.

The family was represented by Scott S. Bethune and Wes Shumate of DBJ.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins $2.5 Million Verdict for Car Crash Victim

DBJ earned a $2.5 million verdict from a Jackson County, Missouri jury for a woman injured in a car accident. Adrienne Garrison Wayman, of Grain Valley, Missouri, suffered back, hip, and neck injuries when her car was rear-ended, forcing her vehicle into the car in front of her.  She subsequently required a cervical fusion for a herniated disk.

After rejecting a $350,000 settlement offer, Grant L. Davis of DBJ took the case to trial. “Over the last 20 years, there’s been such a move toward alternative dispute resolution. It’s almost a religion,” Davis said. “Law students are taught in law school that ADR is good. And the truth of the matter is, sometimes it’s better for your client to have a jury trial.”

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins $1.66 Million Verdict for Victim of Tractor-Trailer Accident

DBJ’s Grant L. Davis and Thomas C. Jones won a $1.66 million verdict from a St. Louis jury for a 49-year-old man who was injured when his car was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer.

The plaintiff was stopped at a red light when the tractor-trailer slammed into the rear of his vehicle, causing soft-tissue back injuries and a closed head injury. As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff can no longer lift, bend, dance, or play sports. He also cannot think clearly and has constant ringing in his ears.

The defendant claimed that a car swerved in front of the plaintiff, causing an abrupt stop resulting in the accident. The defendant also claimed the plaintiff suffered only minor injuries that healed within three months of the accident. The jury did not agree.

The last offer by the defense was $85,000 and the plaintiff countered with $325,000. At trial, the defense requested an award of only $36,000, but the jury came back with a figure of $1.66 million.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Tractor-Trailer Accident Case Settles for $1.02 Million and More

DBJ negotiated a $1,002,500 settlement on behalf of the family of a man who was killed in an accident with a tractor-trailer. A man driving a four-door sedan was sideswiped by a tractor-trailer owned by ABC Trucking Company, causing it to cross the median and roll over twice. The man died from head injuries suffered in the accident. The case with ABC Trucking was settled before trial.

A lawsuit against the automobile manufacturer proceeded to trial. Plaintiffs argued that the roof of the man’s car featured a defective design, which caused the roof over the driver’s side to collapse. On the fourth day of trial, a confidential settlement was reached.

Scott S. Bethune and Randall W. Brown of DBJ represented the plaintiffs.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Settles $1 Million MODOT Negligence Car Crash Case

An arbitration panel found the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) partially to blame for a highway accident that killed two people. The driver was held to be 80% at fault, with the Department of Transportation responsible for the other 20%. Total damages exceeded $1 million.

The lawsuit alleged the scene of the accident was a dangerous intersection, improperly designed by MODOT. The plaintiffs argued that the intersection had inadequate sight lines and the speed limit was too high. The family’s attorney, Wes Shumate of DBJ, noted that the speed limit was lowered from 65 mph to 55 mph after the accident.

State law allows lawsuits against MODOT to be taken to arbitration instead of a trial. The family chose arbitration in order to speed up the case’s outcome and gain some closure, Shumate said.

Please call Davis, Bethune & Jones today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Earns $550k Verdict for Ward Parkway Auto Crash

DBJ successfully represented Lauren Riley following a terrible accident during which she unnecessarily suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a negligent driver.  Grant Davis tried the motor vehicle accident case to plaintiff’s verdict of $550,000 in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.

As reported in Missouri Lawyers Weekly (read more here), Davis underscores the importance of plaintiffs lawyers taking cases to full jury verdicts.  “Too many times, insurance companies offer settlements below the true value of a client’s injuries and lawyers take it,” he said.  DBJ is proud to take cases “all the way” to best represent their clients and maximize the value of cases and hold wrongdoers accountable.

If you or a love one has been injured through the negligence of others, please contact DBJ for a free consultation.