$1.2 Million Jury Verdict in Rear-end Accident in California

In 2005, Ms. Kathleen Donovan was stopped in traffic north of Ventura, California, when her sedan was rear-ended by a pickup truck driven by Patrick Gallagher, an employee of Gold Coast Erectors. Larry Johnson, another driver and an employee of Weatherford USLP, had been driving between Donovan and Gallagher, but swerved out of the lane when Donovan stopped. Ms. Donovan sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene of the wreck.

Her mother, Constance Donovan, sued Gallagher, Gold Coast Erectors, Johnson and Weatherford USLP, alleging negligence.

Gallagher and Gold Coast Erectors admitted liability but argued that Johnson and Weatherford were also negligent. Both Johnson and his firm denied liability. Gallagher contended that he was driving behind Johnson’s vehicle, which blocked his view of Ms. Donovan. Gallagher argued that Johnson did not slow appropriately, forcing him to swerve out of the lane when Ms. Donovan stopped and that this was negligent, because it compromised his opportunity to avoid the collision.

Constance Donovan did not seek any economic damages, as she was not financially dependent on her daughter at the time of her death, but asked the jury for $3.5 to $4.5 million in noneconomic damages for the value of her daughter's life. The jury awarded her $1.2 million in noneconomic damages, with 90 percent of the fault to Gallagher and Gold Coast Erectors and 10 percent to Johnson and Weatherford USLP.

Even though you may be among the safest drivers on the road, you never know when the actions of those around you can cause injury and death. The Law Offices of Michael L. Neff ask you to drive defensively; and if you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia car or truck accident that was someone else’s fault, call us or email us immediately before evidence is destroyed. Let us help you get the settlement you deserve.