On July 1st a Farmington jury returned a $6,200,000 verdict in Symes v. Burch and Lube Management, #180701236, Second District Court for Davis County (Hon. Michael DiReda).
Here is the Amended Complaint. This claim arose out of a 2015 "blind spot" accident on I-15N in Davis County when a driver for Lube Management crossed lanes and hit Mr. Symes' vehicle. Here is plaintiffs' counsel's summary:
"Plaintiffs alleged both negligence and negligent employment. [They alleged that] defendant corporation, Lube Management, didn't follow its driver authorization policies or its drug testing policies. Lube Management put an unauthorized driver on the road. Circumstantial evidence suggested that the driver was impaired and regularly used drugs. The Lube Management driver crossed over two lanes of traffic and sideswiped the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff suffered permanent ligament damage to his spine. The main injuries were spinal instabilities in the upper neck, neck, and low back. The jury found that Lube Management negligently employed its driver and its negligence caused Plaintiffs' injuries. The jury did not find that punitive damages were appropriate against the Lube Management driver. However, the jury did find that Lube Management manifested a knowing and reckless indifference toward, and a disregard of, the rights of others because in the way that it supervised and trained its driver."
I attach the special verdict on compensatory damages. Past medicals awarded were about $114,000, future medicals were $2,300,000, non-economic damages were assessed at $1,200,000, and loss of consortium to Mrs. Symes was $500,000. The jury also entered a punitive damages assessment of $2,000,000. Here's the proposed judgment.
There was some briefing of note:
- Punitive damages motions: defense motion for judgment as a matter of law on punitive damages; plaintiffs' opposition; jury instructions on punitive damages.
- Motion papers concerning Dr. Adam Schwebach: defense motion in limine re unrelated issues on Dr. Schwebach; plaintiffs' opposition; defense reply; court's order on motions in limine.
Plaintiffs' counsel: Jeff Steele and Justin Hosman, Steele Adams Hosman.