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Jury Awards Passenger $550,000

Amount: $550,000
Court: Lorain County Court of Common Pleas

Our client was awarded $550,000 by a Lorain County jury against a drunk driver in a single car roll-over accident. The plaintiff was a passenger in the drunk driver’s car. The jury found that the defendant failed to reasonably control his vehicle after a tread detached from his right rear tire. A tire company was added as a defendant because the drunk driver alleged the tire tread detachment was the cause of the accident. The tire company argued that the tire tread detached due to the age and misuse of the tire, not due to a product defect. The plaintiff’s expert opined that, despite the tire’s age and condition, it was defective in design as it did not have belt edge enhancement features to delay the tread separation. The jury found against plaintiff on his claim against the tire manufacturer but in favor of the plaintiff on his claim against the driver. The plaintiff’s injuries included a head trauma requiring lengthy hospital stays and facial lacerations that are still in need of future revision surgeries. The jury apportioned 80% of the fault to the drunk driver, and 20% of the fault to the plaintiff for riding with a drunk driver. As a result, the award was reduced by 20% to $440,000.

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