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Brain Injury Brings Verdict of $2 Million; $9 Million Total in Crash

Susan Lutz suffered a brain injury in a car accident that has left her with vertigo for the rest of her life. Now a jury has awarded her more than two million dollars in damages. Lutz and another motorist injured in the three-vehicle pileup, Clarice Brewer, were awarded over nine million dollars in damages, when the awards are combined.

The collision took place in April 2008. Jason Mudford was driving a company truck on a busy highway when he made an unsafe lane change and rear-ended Lutz’s pickup while traveling at 55 miles per hour. Mudford’s truck left no skidmarks before the collision. The impact smashed Lutz’s pickup into Brewer’s van.

Clarice Brewer’s jury award was for 7.3 million dollars. She is unable to walk because of injuries from the crash. She is wheelchair-bound.

Brewer and Lutz sued Hussmann Corporation, a company that manufactures and repairs refrigeration equipment. They were the owners of Mudford’s truck and his employer.

The trial took place in California, where the crash occurred. One issue at trial was whether Brewer was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. If the jury decided she was not wearing one, it would have reduced Hussman’s liability. The jury decided by a 9-to-3 vote that Brewer was wearing a seat belt.

Lutz is unable to work because of her injuries. She was awarded $981,770 for medical expenses and past and future wage loss, as well as one million dollars for pain and suffering.

Brewer was awarded $2.36 million for past and future medical expenses and $5 million for pain and suffering.

Source: Fresno Bee “Fresno jury awards $9m in Highway 180 wreck” 10/21/2010

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