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Georgia’s Top Motor Vehicle Verdicts in 2013 ~ part 3

baby-hands-for-blog-august-30-2014.jpgThe following is the final Georgia’s Top Motor Vehicle Verdict in 2013 ~ part 3:




The final Top Motor Vehicle Verdict in Georgia for 2013 was an award in Bryan County, Georgia, State Court, Judge Jack E. Carney Jr. presiding, for the Plaintiffs in the total amount of $ 3,083,000 in a Wrongful Death suit where an infant, due to a car accident, was born premature as a result of the injuries to his mother in the auto crash, and then the infant died one month later, and the mother sustained personal injuries, pain and suffering, and the father sustained loss of consortium.

The case was Erica McKeel, Army Capt. Daniel McKeel, et al. v. Cuong Nguyen and Limelight Bar & Grill, No. 2012-SV-05, and the date of the verdict was April 3, 2013.

The facts as summarized are as follows that Ms. Erica McKeel was driving her vehicle when the Defendant, Cuong Nguyen, failed to yield and turned left right in front of the Plaintiff McKeel’s vehicle causing the two (2) vehicles to collide and totaling both vehicles. The airbag deployed and the Plaintiff, pregnant for seven months, was struck in the stomach.

She was, therefore, admitted to the hospital where the next day her amniotic sac broke causing a placental abruption whereby a C-Section was performed 12 days following the accident approximately giving birth to Murphy Foster McKeel. It was not until 18 minutes after his birth that little Murphy was breathing and had a heart rate that was stable.

Since it took little Murphy so long to breath following his birth, his brain suffered oxygen deprivation which resulted in brain damage that was severe. Although little Murphy was treated in the ICU for 12 days following the accident, on February 12, 2012, little Murphy died.

The Plaintiffs, Mr. and Mrs. McKeel, filed two causes of action. One cause of action was against Defendant Nguyen who was the driver of the vehicle that struck Ms. McKeel for Wrongful Death and Negligence which included a claim against Nguyen’s brother, the owner of the car, for Negligent Entrustment.

The other cause of action was against a company owned by the Nguyen brother’s called Limelight Bar & Grill alleging that Cuong Nguyen, the driver of the vehicle that struck Ms. McKeel, was acting in the scope of a business purpose as he was picking up a license for the Limelight Restaurant at the time of the crash. The cases were brought to trial together.

Summary Judgement was granted in favor of the Defendants in the Negligent Entrustment Claim, but not the claims against the restaurant. During trial, the defendants denied that the restaurant was not liable as it was not open for business when the crash occurred. The Defendants also disputed the damages since little McKeel was only one (1) month old when he died.

The finder of fact awarded the Plaintiff a total of over $ 3 million dollars that was distributed as follows:

$ 2 million for the Wrongful Death of little baby McKeel
$ 1 million to Ms. McKeel for her Pain and Suffering and Personal Injuries
$ 83,000 for Mr. McKeel for his loss of consortium

I will discuss the final Top Georgia Verdict for Wrongful Death in my next blog post titled, “The Top Wrongful Death Verdict in Georgia in 2013.”

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts and highly successful trial attorneys who win Wrongful Death Cases such as this one as well as Motor Vehicle accidents involving traumatic and severe injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered severe injuries or death in a Motor Vehicle Accident, then please Contact Us for your free legal consultation.

We are here to assist you and your loved ones to insure that you receive all of the just compensation that you deserve under the circumstances, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.