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Truck Passenger Injured $25,000 Punitives, $1,500 Compensatory

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August 16, 1999
Cite this Page: 12 N.C.L.W. 0599

Verdicts & Settlements
Negligence/Auto

Truck Passenger Injured — DWI Defendant Tried To Pass On Right — Clipped Wheel Bumper — Left Scene — Cervical Strain — $25,000 Punitives, $1,500 Compensatory

Brief statement of claim: The plaintiff was a restrained passenger in a logging truck driven by her husband in the right hand lane when the defendant driver attempted to pass the truck on the right by driving on the sidewalk.
The defendant’s Blazer cut into the right front of the truck, striking the truck’s wheel and bumper. The defendant drove away on a flat tire, turned around, passed the wreck scene and then returned to his home. He plead guilty to DWI, hit and run, and no operator’s license.
Principal injuries: Cervical strain — no impairment
Special damages: $732 in chiropractic bills
Tried or settled: Tried
County where tried or settled: Surry
Case name and number: Carlene Creed v. Charles Melvin Harrell (97 CvD 749)
Date concluded: April 9, 1999
Name of Judge: Charles Neaves
Amount: Verdict $1,500 compensatory; $25,000 punitives
Insurance carrier: Nationwide
Expert witnesses and areas of expertise: Hugh Burford, Ph.D., alcohol pharmacology
Attorneys for the plaintiff: George Francisco of Francisco & Merritt, Mt. Airy
Other useful info: The defendant denied liability. Nationwide tendered an offer of judgment for $3,000 ten days before trial. Defendant paid a total of $34,000 to plaintiff, which includes the verdict, interest, costs and attorney’s fees.

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