$45 million settlement in historic wrongful death case

The Lakeland Ledger reported the largest personal injury verdict in Polk County, Florida history has reached totaling $45 million.

In February 2006, Ms. Bryant was driving her nine-year-old daughter and the daughter's best friend when her pickup truck collided with a commercial truck driven by John Robert Mitchell.

The two girls, Morgan Bryant and Brittany Hooten, were killed instantly. So was Ms. Bryant’s two-month old fetus. Ms. Bryant also sustained permanent brain injuries, leaving her hospitalized for several months. The award includes nearly $40 million in the personal injury verdict and $5.7 million for wrongful death.

The initial award was significantly higher, but the jury determined that Bryant was 25 percent at fault in the accident, thereby reducing her award by that amount. The family of Brittany Hooten settled out of court with Progressive Insurance Company for an undisclosed sum.