Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP Obtains Record $17.4 Million Jury Verdict Against NuCO2 In Truck Crash Case

Posted on June 4, 2015

On June 3, 2015, Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP attorneys Brian Panish, Deborah Chang, Tom Schultz and Austin Ward  and co-counsel Carla DeDominicis obtained a $17,393,479.87 jury verdict in a Vista, California court for a young man who suffered severe facial injuries and a mild brain injury after being involved in a six-vehicle collision caused by a negligently driven NuCO2 truck.  This is reportedly the highest amount ever awarded by a jury in the North County Division of the San Diego Superior Court.

Russell Sheaffer, who was 24-year old at the time, was driving his Toyota Solara when a 35,000-pound Freightliner flatbed tanker truck driven by a NuCO2 employee slammed into a row of five stopped vehicles on Interstate 15.  The truck was traveling at freeway speeds, and Mr. Sheaffer’s stopped Toyota, the third of the five cars, was hit was so much force that its seat broke and Mr. Sheaffer’s car was propelled into the SUV in front of him.  Mr. Sheaffer sustained facial fractures along his jaw, an imploded sinus and a minor traumatic brain injury.  He underwent two major surgeries, and after a year of doctor’s visits, CT scans and 3-D modeling of Mr. Sheaffer’s jaw revealed a traumatically induced, rapidly progressing, degenerative joint disease of the temporomandibular joints.  This joint disease caused the shortening of Mr. Sheaffer’s left temporomandibular (TMJ) joint, the shifting of his jaw, and the development of osteoarthritis in his right TMJ joint.

Although NcCO2 admitted liability for the accident, it denied that Mr. Sheaffer suffered the long term damages or pain and suffering that he claimed.  The jury chose to awarded Mr. Sheaffer $12,500,000 for past and future pain and suffering, $2,888,373 for past and future medical expenses, and $2,005,107 for past and future loss of earnings.

Since 2012, Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP LLP has received more than $110 million in jury verdicts in truck accident cases, including a $36.5 million verdict for a woman who was catastrophically injured in a semi-truck crash, a $34.5 million verdict for a man who suffered a lower leg amputation after he was hit by the trailer of a big-rig, a $20 million verdict in a hit and run accident involving a J.B. Hunt truck and a $7.5 verdict in a wrongful death case involving a young woman killed by a FedEx truck while riding her bicycle.

Read the Daily Journal article here.

Read the JuryVerdictAlert write up here.

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