This will be my first blog post about this case titled, “A Gwinnett County, Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Award Issued to Construction Workers Injured in a Crash Sends a Message Deeper Than Just Dollars ~ part one.” In 2010, at the Intersection of South Puckett Road and Hamilton Mill Road in Gwinnett County, Georgia, there was a Motor Vehicle Crash involving an Engineer who was driving a vehicle owned by Georgia Power, Ms. Cassandra Kim Taylor, and a vehicle operated and occupied by Ms. Sandra Flores Juarez and Mr. William Villacorta. Ms. Juarez and Mr. Villacorta are two (2) native El Salvadorians who were working in tandem on remodeling and painting jobs and who both spoke very little English. The issues at trial were negligence, damages, and the potential dangers of bias and discrimination in the judicial process.
On the issue of negligence, it was the Defenses’ contention that the Plaintiff driving had passed the point of being able to make a left turn and, therefore, slammed on the brakes of the vehicle suddenly, without warning, and without using a turn signal. The Plaintiffs’ would argue that they were waiting to turn, had their turn signal on, and were then hit from behind. The Defense would contend that Ms. Taylor, the person driving the Georgia Power vehicle, did glance down to the passenger seat at a clipboard just prior to her slamming on the brakes suddenly when she then swerved to the right but was not able to avoid the collision with the vehicle the Plaintiffs’ were traveling in at that time.
As such, the Defense would argue that the Plaintiffs’ portion of negligence in the causing the collision was equal to or greater than the negligence of Ms. Taylor, the Georgia Power Driver. As I have discussed in prior blog posts, if the jury were to agree with the Defense on its contention of negligence and find that the Plaintiffs were in fact equal to or more than negligent than Ms. Taylor, then, under the theory of Comparative Negligence, Georgia Law would not allow any recovery for the Plaintiffs in this case since under this theory of law if it is shown that the Plaintiff is 50% or more responsible for the injury or damages claimed, then the Plaintiff shall not be entitled to receive any amount of damages.
Although the Plaintiffs’ damage claim for medical bills exceeded half-a-million dollars ($ 500,000.00) combined due to injuries to the spine that required surgeries to the disks and treatment that was extensive, not to mention the severe pain both the Plaintiffs endured as a result thereof, Georgia Power denied fault, as stated herein above, and also had a contest to the extent of these injuries. With regards to the injuries, Georgia Power made issue with the medical bills and treatments stating that the same were not reasonable, not necessary, and did not pertain to injuries that were caused by the proximate result of the collision.
I will continue my discussion of this case in my next blog post titled, “A Gwinnett County, Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Verdict Award Issued to Construction Workers Injured in a Crash Sends a Message Deeper Than Just Dollars ~ part two.”