In January, 2013, on the day that many of us might remember as the day when the San Francisco 49ers beat the Georgia Falcons for the NFC Championship, a young man, Blaine Thompson, 39 years old, was in Sandy Springs, Georgia driving on Johnson Ferry Road when he was struck head-on by a GMC truck that crossed the center line. The truck was driven by Keith Skinnner who was leaving a bar and driving under the influence. Thompson was left with severe injuries to include two (2) broken legs and a broken arm as a result of the crash.
This case had many of the elements of a DUI case where a person was leaving a bar under the influence. For example, Thompson sued the bar under Georgia’s Dram Shop Act, which I have discussed in other blog posts, that states in part that a bar, and even a convenience store, can be held liable if a patron is served by the establishment, leaves the establishment under the influence, and then subsequently injures another person as a result of being under the influence. The bar raised a typical defense that it did not know that Skinner was going to be driving that soon after leaving the establishment. The bar ended up settling in mediation with Thompson for an undisclosed amount.
Thompson also sued Skinner for negligence, and his own insurance company under his underinsured/uninsured policy. This is known as “staking” which I discuss on my website. Ironically, both men were insured by State Farm.
Skinner was also charged with serious injury by vehicle, driving on the wrong side of the road, reckless driving, and DUI by Sandy Springs police whereby Skinner pled guilty being sentenced to three years in prison, and probation for seven years.
The case did not see the inside of a courtroom, however, and was mediated and settled for $ 3.35 million. The case is Thompson v. Skinner, No. 13EV017121. Fortunately, Thompson is reported to be almost fully recovered from the injuries he suffered and he is also back to work.
In many cases of this magnitude, such as the case that I discuss in my blog post about the mother who was under the influence of drugs and crossed the center line, killing all 5 passengers in her vehicle including herself, other people have not been so fortunate.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts at representing victims of accidents involving drivers who are under the influence. These cases are unique in terms of what can be recovered, such as punitive damages, so if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug, even a prescription drug, then please Contact Us for your free legal consultation by any or all of the following means; by phone at 770-865-8654, or (813) 363-6664, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on the Contact Form on this blog site, or on the Contact Form on our website.
We look forward to assisting you so that you receive all of the just compensation that you deserve if you are involved in such an unfortunate situation.