View Complaint: $12.9 Million Verdict Against Drunk Taxidriver
Charles Barlow was a taxi cab driver for Yellow Cab Co. of Louisville, LLC. Yellow Cab was managed and owned by Procarent, Inc. and Interlock Industries, Inc. On Oct. 28, 2012, Barlow visited several taverns and stores where he consumed multiple alcoholic beverages with friends Tara Hirsekorn, Michael Roby and Laura Weigand. Shortly before midnight, the quartet got into a taxi and drove from Louisville, KY, into Indiana and towards the Horshoe Casino. While traveling along Ind. 111 in Floyd County, IN, Barlow lost control of the taxi, crossed the centerline while going over 80 miles per hour, and collided with a vehicle driven by Thomas F. Stinson, Jr. Both vehicles were destroyed in the crash and the cab burst into flames, killing Hirsekorn, Roby and Weigand. Stinson was gravely injured but conscious when pulled from the vehicle. Stinson was flown by helicopter to the University of Louisville Hospital and later died. Toxicology reports showed Barlow's blood-alcohol content was 0.17 and Barlow was convicted of multiple felony charges and sentenced to prison.
Angela Roby, Administratrix of Roby's estate, filed suit against Barlow and Yellow Cab in the Jefferson Circuit Court of Kentucky. On Jan. 25, 2013, Scott Stinson, Administrator and Personal Representative of Stinson's estate, filed suit against Barlow, Yellow Cab, Procarent, and Interlock. Stinson's claims were subsequently consolidated into the Roby suit. The plaintiffs asserted claims of negligence, gross negligence, recklessness against the defendants as well as claims of negligent entrustment of a vehicle and vicarious liability, respondeat superior, ostensible agency and/or agency against the entity defendants. The plaintiffs argued Yellow Cab, Procarent and Interlock breached their duty to maintain, control and operate their vehicles and their employees and independent contractors operating their vehicles in such a way that the vehicles would not cause injury to the general public and to make sure their drivers were reasonably safe in the operation of their taxis. The plaintiffs argued the entity defendants failed to properly monitor their cabs and allowed Barlow to drive at excessive speeds and under the influence of alcohol.
Yellow Cab reached settlements with the estates of Roby and Stinson as well as the estates of Hirsekorn and Weigand. Trial was held on the Stinson estate's claims against Barlow. Barlow was not present at trial and did not file an answer or otherwise appear in the suit. On June 21, 2016, the jury found in favor of the estate and awarded it $12,900,000 in damages. According to news reports, the award consisted of $27,000 for medical expenses, $4,400,000 for pain and suffering, and $8,500,000 in punitive damages.
For all your jury verdict and settlement needs, please visit the LexisNexis Jury Verdicts and Settlements on Lexis Advance® and LexisNexis® Verdict & Settlement Analyzer.
For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site.