$950,000 for Fractured Ankle Because Truck Driver on Cocaine
The garbage truck driver pulled out from a stop sign onto US1 directly into the path of Jane Doe. Jane, who was heading to her job as operating room nurse, instead ended up on the operating table for repair of a complex fracture of her right ankle.
Incredibly, the driver claimed he never saw Jane's vehicle. But then drug tests after the accident showed cocaine in his system.
When the defense minimized the evidence of cocaine, Pajcic & Pajcic had further tests done under the supervision of its nationally recognized expert from UCLA medical school. Moreover, Pajcic & Pajcic discovered the driver's criminal history included illegal drug possession and a recent violation of probation stemming from illegal drug use.
The sanitation company had discharged the driver when he went to jail for the probation violation. But the company had then rehired him before Jane's accident without ever discovering that the probation violation was illegal drug use.
Jane's ankle fracture healed well, but she is left with limitations of motion, early arthritis and persistent pain. While she can no longer stand long enough to be an operating room nurse, her intelligence and work ethic have allowed her to move up to a higher paying position in nursing administration and teaching.
When the defense argued Jane failed to wear her seatbelt, Pajcic & Pajcic pointed to Florida case law holding that punitive conduct nullifies the effect of comparative negligence. The case settled for $950,000 during the pendency of the motion to amend to add punitive damages.