A 2008 automobile accident in California has resulted in a $9 million verdict after a four week jury trial. The personal injury lawsuits were filed against the refrigeration equipment company, Hussmann Corp. as a result of a rear end collision that left drivers of two vehicles with serious injuries.
According to the complaint on April 11, 2008 the truck, driven by Hussman employee Jason Mudfor made a lane change and rear ended a pickup truck being driven by Susan Lutz of Fresno. The collision forced the Lutz truck into the back of a van operated by Clarice Brewer, also of Fresno.
As the result of the accident Lutz was diagnosed as suffering a traumatic brain injury that has resulted in a permanent state of vertigo. She has been awarded $981,770 to cover medical expenses and $1million for pain and suffering by the Fresno County Superior Court jury.
Attorneys for Hussmann Corp. tried to argue that the driver of the van, Clarice Brewer, was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Brewer has lost the use of her legs as a result of the rear end collision and is now confined to a wheel chair. The defense attorneys claimed that the injuries she sustained would not have been so severe had she been wearing a seatbelt. The jury decided that Brewer was, in fact wearing a seat belt at the time that the Hussmann vehicle caused the accident and she was awarded $2.36 million for medical expenses and an additional $5 million for pain and suffering.