A Louisiana state court jury has awarded a $117 million verdict to a woman who was severely injured in a 2010 accident while riding in an ambulance that crashed into the back of a sugar cane truck.
On December 27, 2010 the victim, who was 7 months pregnant, began suffering stomach pains and called a local ambulance to take her to the hospital.
During the routine trip to the hospital, the ambulance rear-ended a sugar cane truck on a highway. Evidence at trial showed that the ambulance was traveling nearly 60 miles per hour but failed to use its emergency lights or sirens.
It is alleged that the ambulance driver, who was required to log his trips via an electronic tracking device, dropped the device on the floor. As he searched for it, he took his eyes off the road and collided with the sugar cane truck.
The victim remained in various hospitals since the day of the accident, which left her with a severed spine that has left her with only limited use of one arm. She also suffered a traumatic brain injuryand permanent injuries and will be in a wheelchair, requiring medical care for the rest of her life. She has remained in various hospitals since the accident.
The victim was only 21 years old at the time of the accident. The victim’s mother is caring for the baby and the victim’s older daughter.
Jurors heard about the driver’s prior accidents and consistent failure to meet the company’s minimum driving standards for more than 30 months during his employment. Despite this, the driver did not participate in the company’s required remedial actions, nor was he fired as their driver. Witnesses at the scene reported that the driver made no attempt to avoid the accident.
After the crash, the victims’ baby was delivered via emergency c-section, while her mother was in a coma. The baby survived, even though she only weighed about 3 pounds at birth.
After an eight-day trial, the jury deliberated for just two hours before awarding a total of $116,939,241 in actual damages.
The victim is excited that she will now be able to receive better medical care and cognitive therapy than she is receiving now. Obviously, she would be much happier if she never took that ride in the ambulance.
Ambulances are supposed to help get us to safety to get the help we need, not put us in more danger.
Contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).