A 6-year-old restrained left rear passenger in a motor vehicle operated by his mother collided with an oncoming tractor trailer on a city street in Winston-Salem on Sept. 14, 2007. The defendant driver of the tractor-trailer reported the motor vehicle swerved into his tractor and trailer after he entered a center turn lane anticipating making a left turn.
An investigating officer on the scene found the tractor-trailer resting completely within the center turn lane and the motor vehicle operated by the minor’s mother resting over the line of the center turn lane in contact with trailer.
The minor’s twin brother, who was not severely injured, was also riding in the right rear of the mother’s motor vehicle. The mother, who was treated and released at the hospital immediately following the collision, never provided any recollection of the events of the collision.
The defendant driver reported he entered center turn lane too early. Plaintiff’s investigation revealed the defendant driver had been traveling in excess of the posted speed limit immediately prior to entering the center turn lane.
Two years after the collision, a settlement agreement was reached with the corporate defendant prior to the defendant’s filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy and plaintiff’s examination of corporate books including accounting. The carrier paid the limits of the policies.
Type of action: Personal injury minor’s settlement
Injuries alleged: Spastic quadriplegia following closed-head injury
Case name: MINOR v. John Dixon and Startrans, Inc.
Case number: 10 CVS 1212
Court: Forsyth County Superior Court
Name of judge, arbitrator or mediator: Patrice A. Hinnant
Verdict or settlement: Pre-trial settlement
Date: March 17, 2010
Amount: $2 million
Special damages: $295,688 (medical expenses)
Demand: In excess of policy limits
Insurers: Great West Casualty, Liberty Mutual and ACE American Insuance
Were liability and/or damages contested? No
Was the opposing party represented by legal counsel? Yes
Has the plaintiff been successful in actually collecting the judgment or settlement? Yes
Plaintiff’s attorney: Garry Whitaker (Winston-Salem)
Editor’s note: The information in Lawyers Weekly’s verdicts and settlements reports was submitted by the counsel for the prevailing party and represents the attorney’s characterization of the case.