Georgia State Jury Hits Pizza Hut With $1.5 Million Verdict After Delivery Driver Runs Stop Sign, Pulls Into Path Of Moped
On April 24, 2011, a driver employed by defendant Pizza Hut of America, LLC, ran a stop sign and drove his delivery van into oncoming traffic, into the path of plaintiff Adam Winnie’s moped. Plaintiff’s moped crashed into the Pizza Hut van, propelling plaintiff into the van’s left side. Plaintiff was rendered unconscious and suffered multiple broken bones and contusions, including a broken right clavicle, fracture of the right tibia and/or fibula, and rib fractures. Plaintiff also claimed that he developed thoracic outlet syndrome in his right arm and shoulder. Plaintiff, a fine art painter, had been working ten plus hours a day and had a portfolio with low sales at the time of injury. The injury allegedly forced plaintiff to drop out of art school and return to work as a custodian, but he later had to quit custodial work due to right shoulder pain. Plaintiff was treated for chronic pain at the Mayo Clinic.
Defendant argued that plaintiff had completely healed from his broken bones and that his subsequent neck and shoulder pain were unrelated to the motor vehicle collision.
Plaintiff filed a complaint against defendant in Chatham County, GA, on Sept. 20, 2011. On March 25, 2016, the jury rendered a verdict for plaintiff in the amount of $1,480,778, including $144,204 in past medicals; $43,835 in past lost income; $410,833 in decreased future earning capacity; $248,573 in past general damages; and $633,333 in future general damages. Defendant offered $250,000 just prior to trial. Plaintiff demanded $750,000. On April 5, 2016, Judge Gregory V. Sapp entered judgment for plaintiff in the amount of $1,535,016.32, which represented the verdict plus prejudgment interest. The court denied defendant’s motion for new trial on March 8, 2017. On the same day, the court granted plaintiff’s motion for fees and expenses in the amount of $440,171.04, based on a rejected $250,000 demand plaintiff made on April 29, 2014.
Plaintiff was represented by Eugene C. Brooks, IV, of Brooks Law Office, Savannah, GA. Defendant was represented by John Fitzpatrick of Wheeler, Trigg and O'Donnell, LLP, Denver, CO; and Travis Windsor of Brennan, Wasden, and Painter, LLC, Savannah, GA.
Lexis Advance subscribers may view the summary here: Adam Winnie v. Pizza Hut of America, LLC; 2015 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 2787
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