On Wednesday a Jackson County jury rendered a $1.5 million verdict in Warren v. Hernandez.
This was a car/tractor trailer case. Ms. Warren alleged she was making a right turn off Highway 63 south of the intersection with I-10 to go to the Exxon station. She was stopped in the turn lane waiting for the light to turn. She saw the defendant’s 18 wheeler approaching behind her in her rearview mirror when he attempted to pull around her. When he did so, the driver failed to make a wide enough turn, and the trailer hit Ms. Warren’s vehicle.
The driver of the 18 wheeler testified he was first in line, waiting at the traffic signal in the turn lane. After it turned green, he made his right turn. As he was doing so, the truck driver alleged that Ms. Warren’s vehicle must have come up behind his trailer and ran into the back portion of his trailer or was attempting to pass him on the shoulder. Liability was disputed.
Ms. Warren suffered major neck injuries, leading to fusions at two levels, and a disk replacement. She also had a partial tear of her left rotator cuff. Finally, Ms. Warren suffered severe headaches and was diagnosed with occipital neuralgia.
Warren had $359,000 in medical bills. A treating physician indicated she would need expensive injections. Causation was disputed based upon her allegedly not complaining to her doctors of neck and shoulder pain until several months after the accident.
After deliberating two and half hours, the jury rendered a verdict of $500,000 for Warren’s pain and suffering and mental and emotional distress and $1 million in economic damages.
Tedd Connell and Charlie Merkel with Merkel & Cocke in Clarksdale represented Warren.
Kristi Rodgers Brown and Ryne Hand with Daniel Coker represented Defendant.
Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson presided.