Jefferson County

(19) DEMUS SMITH vs. EDUARDO GIL, IGNACIO REYES, and STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama)

County/Docket #/Judge: Jefferson / CV-2012-903998 / Michael G. Graffeo

Plaintiff(s) Attorney(s): Rip Andrews of Marsh, Rickard, et al., P.C., Birmingham, AL

Defendant(s) Attorney(s): Ralph D. Gaines, III, of Gaines, Gault, et al., P.C., Birmingham, AL for State Farm; Gil and Reyes – Pro Se

Age/Sex/Occupation Of Plaintiff: n/a / M / Police Officer

Cause Of Injury: Negligence/Wantonness/Vehicle Striking Patrol Car Causing Collision with Police Officer/Driving Under the Influence. Plaintiff Demus Smith claimed that on Dec. 19, 2010, at approximately 3:20 a.m., he was working as a police officer for the City of Birmingham. As he was outside of his patrol car working an accident on Interstate 65 North between University Boulevard and Green Springs Highway, with three other patrol cars parked nearby, defendant Eduardo Gil collided with one of the patrol cars, which in turn struck plaintiff. Gil, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, was operating a vehicle owned by defendant Ignacio Reyes. Plaintiff claimed that he suffered an injury to his foot and bruises and contusions to his body.

Plaintiff filed a complaint on Dec. 4, 2012, asserting negligence/wantonness claims against Gil, a negligent entrustment claim against Reyes, and an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

Nature Of Injury: Personal injuries including injury to foot; bruises and contusions to body; pain and suffering.

Expert Witnesses: n/a

Verdict: $833,709.21 for Plaintiff on Aug. 21, 2016 ($33,709.21 – compensatory damages; $800,000 – punitive damages).

Judgment: $67,418.42 for Plaintiff on Aug. 29, 2016 (against Reyes). $867,418.42 for Plaintiff on Aug. 29, 2016 (against Gil). $225,000 for Plaintiff on Aug. 29, 2016 (against State Farm).