Action: Motor vehicle negligence
Injuries alleged: Torn rotator cuff requiring surgical repair and resulting in permanent impairment.
Case name: Carroll vs. Phoenix Spirit Group
Court/case no.: 21 CVS 1080
Jury and/or judge: Judge Thomas Lock, Johnston County Superior Court
Highest offer: $100,000
Date: April 12, 2023
Most helpful experts: Joseph Barker, MD
Attorneys: Hunt Willis, of Martin & Jones, Raleigh (for the plaintiff); John Honeycutt of Yates McLamb and Weyher, Raleigh (for the defendant)
The Carroll sisters had stopped on a rural highway in Johnston County for traffic to pass before turning left into their private driveway. Another motorist coming up behind them also stopped to wait for the Carrolls to make their turn.
Moments later, a large truck owned by a traffic safety company, Phoenix Spirit Group, and operated by an employee, Donald Skillman, approached from the rear of the stopped vehicles at a high rate of speed. It struck the back of the second motorist’s vehicle, which then shot into the rear of the Carrolls’ vehicle.
The plaintiff, who was a passenger in the Carrolls’ vehicle, suffered a serious injury to her rotator cuff, eventually requiring surgery. The defense admitted to causing the crash but vigorously denied causing the injury and maintained that the property damage photos displayed minimal damage to the vehicle the plaintiff was in.
The surgeon disagreed and gave a full causation opinion during a deposition.
The defense made an offer of judgment of $100,000. The jury returned a verdict of $235,755.81, and the total judgment with interest and costs amounted to $279,939.03.