$43.5M Verdict in Texting While Driving Lawsuit

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A Texas woman was awarded $43.5 million for a 2015 car wreck where she was rear ended by an oil field employee using a hands free cell phone. The plaintiff alleged in her texting while driving lawsuit that an employee of JC Fodale Energy Services rear ended her with an 2012 GMC Yukon in busy traffic on the I-35 in San Antonio. The plaintiff, who was driving a 2009 Cadillac STS, says she suffered neck and shoulder injuries because of the accident.

“This case really represents setting a standard for companies and people making sure they’re not using their cellphones (while) driving,” said the plaintiff’s attorney in a phone interview with mySA. According to mySA’s interview, a number of studies show that drunk driving and texting while driving lead to the same level of impairment.

texting-drivingThe texting while driving lawsuit alleged that both the employee driving the SUV and the oil company were responsible. The employee, alleged the plaintiff, should not have been using the cell phone while driving.

According to the texting while driving lawsuit, the employee had been texting and talking on the cell phone within minutes of the accident.

Additionally, the employee had texted thousands of times while driving in the preceding months, alleged the plaintiff.

Further, the plaintiff claimed the employer should have had clear policies about cell phone use while driving and should have provided more supervision of employees.

According to the texting while driving lawsuit, the oil field company had a number of different policies about using cell phones while driving that applied to executives and non-executives. Additionally, the employee who hit the plaintiff was in charge of safety, alleged the lawsuit.

The jury in the texting while driving lawsuit awarded the plaintiff $7.3 million for physical and mental pain, $2.9 million for impairment, over $1 million for medical expenses, and $1.1 million for lost wages. Additionally, the jury levied $2.5 million in punitive damages against the employee and approximately $30 million in punitive damages against JC Fodale Energy Services.

“There are many companies now, Fortune 500 companies, that have 100 percent cellphone bans, which is great because it protects all of us,” said the attorney for the plaintiff in the texting while driving lawsuit in the mySA report.

Texting or otherwise using a cell phone or other mobile device while driving is dangerous. Numerous states are starting to pass laws that make texting or using a mobile phone while driving illegal.

If you or a loved one have been injured or your property has been damaged in a texting while driving accident, contact the attorneys at McDonald Worley to help evaluate your legal claim.