The following is one of Georgia’s Top Motor Vehicle Verdicts in 2013 ~ part 1:
One of the top Motor Vehicle Verdicts in Georgia in 2013 was a $15,263,000 award for the Plaintiff’s involving a rear end collision that was fatal.
The name of the case was Kaleo Hewlett v. Richard Brown and AstraZeneca, No. 2009EV008039, and the date of the verdict was April 14, 2013.
The facts are summarized are that Kalo Hewlett, a young age at 22, along with four other people were in a sedan after a wedding at the Morom Temple in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Hewlett was in the back seat with 2 other people from the wedding party and they were all on the way to the reception of the wedding.
As the sedan approached a light it slowed down to approximately 15 miles per hour when it was struck from behind by a larger company-owned sedan driven by a man by the name of Richard Brown.
Brown, who had 15 speeding tickets prior to this incident, was traveling at 70.2 miles per hour and sped up just before he hit the sedan carrying the wedding party including Mr. Hewlett. The violent impact forced the smaller sedan past the intersection approximately 100 yards and also pushed the trunk of the smaller sedan into the back seat of the sedan killing all three passengers in the back seat including Mr. Hewlett.
Brown, a sales representative for AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company, was operating a company-owned vehicle and was driving home from the gym at the time of the collision; he suffered injuries that were only minor in nature. Brown pled guilty to red light running, following too closely, serious injury by vehicle, and vehicular homicide and was to sentenced to serve 90 days of jail time, 10 years of probated time, and had to pay a $ 1,000 fine.
Hardly enough punishment for a man with a prior driving record of speeding who killed three innocent people through no fault of their own on such a joyous occasion.
Mr Kaleo’s parents brought a lawsuit against Brown and AstraZeneca, Brown’s employer, for Wrongful Death and Negligent Entrustment due to Brown’s past driving record alleging that AstraZeneca should have never allowed Brown to drive a company vehicle under the circumstances.
As stated earlier, Brown pled guilty to all charges and admitted liability. He did object, along with AstraZeneca, however, to the pain and suffering portion of the claim on the basis that Mr. Hewlett was dead immediately at the scene of the accident and, therefore, that he did not have any conscious pain and suffering.
Defendant AstraZeneca also denied any liability alleging that Defendant Brown was not on duty when he was in operation of the vehicle and that he was using the vehicle at the time of the collision for his own personal use.
After a five (5) day trial and four and a half (4.5) hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict for the Plaintiff’s in the amount of $15,263,000 and apportioned the award as follows:
$13,000 – For funeral and burial expense
$250,000 -For punitive damages
$10 million – For the value of Mr. Hewlett’s life
$5 million – For Mr. Hewlitt’s pain and suffering
I will follow up this blog with my next blog titled, “Georgia’s Top Motor Vehicle Verdicts in 2013 ~ part 2.”
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts successfully representing people and their families in Vehicular Accidents, and any other cases, that involve Wrongful Death or Serious Bodily Injury so if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident, or any other accident, then please Contact Us for your free legal consultation by any or all of the following means: Contact Us on the contact from on the Blog; Contact Us on our website; Call us at (770) 865-8654, (813) 363-6664; or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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