On August 16, 2019 a Harrison County jury in Gulfport rendered a $3.5 million verdict in Gonzales v. Coastal Industrial Contractors Inc.

Here is a Sun Herald article on the verdict. It states:

A Gulfport jury recently awarded $3.5 million to 41-year-old Leighann Gonzalez of Biloxi, who suffered life-altering injuries when a truck driver ran a stop sign in June 2017 and slammed an 18-wheeler into her car.

Coastal Industrial Contractors Inc. of Biloxi owned the truck and assumed liability, leaving the jury to determine the amount of damages.

Plaintiffs asked for $5.7 million at trial. I have an unconfirmed report the verdict was in the same ballpark as the last settlement offer, but a bit lower.

Former Supreme Court Justice Chuck McRae of Jackson and Michele Biegel of Long Beach represented the plaintiff. It was Biegel’s first just trial.

Mathew Williams of Galloway Johnson represented the Defendant. Circuit Judge Christopher Schmidt presided.

My Take:

Sounds like it was close to a tie, which is common in car wreck trials– except here, there were two more zeroes than in most trials.

I remember winning my first jury trial. Confidence wise, it was the high water mark of my career. I naturally assumed I would never lose. Now, 23 years later, I wonder how I ever won a trial and whether I’ll ever win again.

Experience is valuable in the legal profession. But it’s hell on a cocky young lawyer’s confidence.