Ashley Reedy and Janie Reeves v. Greyhound Lines, Inc. and Rashad Armand Nichols; Cause No. 09-09239, In the 193rd District Court in Dallas. The jury in this case returned a unanimous verdict for both actual and punitive damages in an amount that qualified it as the #1largest accident verdict in the State of Texas and Dallas County for 2011. Ron's courtroom victory against Greyhound Bus Company came after a three-week trial. The jury awarded over $18.6 million, including $9 million in punitive damages to our clients who were injured when a Greyhound bus lost control on an icy road in December 2007. The verdict, which was the largest verdict ever awarded against Greyhound, was covered by the Dallas Morning News, Channel 11 news, Lawyers USA, VerdictSearch, and other media outlets all over the country. In January of 2013, Ron tried the case styled: Ken and Martha Zeiler, Joe Zeiler, and the Estate of Mary Mabry v. Barron Thomas, Agnes Clarke, Barron Thomas Aviation Inc., a Delaware corporation, Barron Thomas Aviation Sales Inc., Barron Thomas Inc., Barron Thomas Southwest Inc., Barron Thomas Scottsdale LLC, Barron Thomas Aviation Realty LLC, Barron Thomas PLLC, Barron Thomas Aviation Holdings Inc., and Barron Thomas Consulting Inc., Cause No. CC-09-03492 in the Dallas County Court at Law No. 3, January 22, 2013. In this case concerning Breach of Contract, Fraudulent Inducement and “Ponzi” Scheme allegations, Ron obtained a verdict of $867,880.20 including $250,000.00 in punitive awards against the Defendants. Ron's most recent verdict came on April 24, 2014 in the case styled Bobbie Bush v. R&L Carriers, Inc., et al, DC-11-16041 in the 298th District Court of Dallas County, Texas. In the Bush case, a 41-year-old Mississippi woman was seriously injured when her pick-up truck rolled over after it was rear-ended by an 18-wheel tractor-trailer driver. She was awarded over $4.1 million by the jury. The jury in this case court found that the truck driver, who had two previous rear-end collisions, was grossly negligent. The jury also found that his employer, Greenwood Motor Lines, Inc., doing business as R&L Carriers, was also grossly negligent in failing to properly supervise and rain the driver. The Bush case is unique in that Mr. McCallum held the largest privately held trucking company accountable under both a general negligence standard and by clear and convincing evidence for gross negligence findings against both the driver and the company.
$6,375,000.00 Settlement Won for Texas Man Disabled in Collision with Fallen Equipment
DALLAS – A North Texas man left permanently disabled after heavy equipment fell from a flatbed truck, causing a violent highway collision, will be paid $6.375 million for his injuries based on a settlement won on February 16, 2017.
Sidney Jacob “Jake” Gibson and his wife Jennifer, who live in Richardson, Texas, had driven to Lubbock to pick up their daughter at Texas Tech University the morning of May 14, 2013. Mrs. Gibson was driving while Mr. Gibson slept beside her in the front of the family's Dodge Ram truck.
The driver of a flatbed truck they were following made a dangerous U-turn, causing an unsecured 1,200-pound metal fixture known as a “plastic injection mold” to fall onto the highway directly in Mrs. Gibson's path. The subsequent investigation showed that the mold had not been strapped onto the truck bed in violation of state and federal safety regulations. Mrs. Gibson was unable to avoid hitting the mold and slammed into it, catapulting their truck into the air before crashing to the ground. Mr. Gibson was transported to a Lubbock hospital for evaluation.
Initial police reports found Mr. Gibson was not wearing a seatbelt, but Mr. McCallum proved through extensive investigative work, medical records and accident re-creations that both Mr. and Mrs. Gibson were in fact wearing seatbelts. It is extremely rare for a police department to amend a police report. Mr. McCallum was able to show sufficient evidence to the Lubbock Police Chief that the Chief personally amended the report to reflect that Mr. Gibson was belted. This resulted in the production of a corrected police report that found Mr. Gibson was belted at the time of impact.
Despite treatment, Mr. Gibson's back and neck pain worsened over time requiring a series of surgeries. As a result, he has limited mobility and is unable to continue working at the Frisco-area carpentry business he owned.
“Before this horrible crash, Jake Gibson loved to be outdoors and on the lake, skiing and spending time with his family. He loved dancing with his daughter,” said attorney Ron McCallum of Simon Greenstone. “But the failure of the equipment hauler to adhere to the most basic safety precautions has irreparably altered life for Mr. Gibson. Money is no substitute for walking your daughter down the aisle at her wedding or teaching your grandchild to swim. But at least the family will not have to struggle to pay for ongoing medical care.”
Immediately after the collision, the Plaintiff was taken by EMS to the University Medical Center where he was treated and released with a diagnosis of acute lumbar sprain/strain. He received physical therapy three times per week, but as time progressed, the Plaintiff's pain did not subside but instead continued to worsen. He then underwent an MRI of the lumbar spine, which revealed: a mild-to-moderate superior compression fracture of the L1; a linear fracture line along the superior L1 endplate; a 2mm disc bulge at L4-5; and a 3mm annular disc bulge with an annular tear at L4-5.
The Plaintiff underwent cervical and lumbar ESIs and facet injections. A cervical anterior discectomy and interbody arthrodesis fusion to the C4-C6 was performed. A second surgery was performed: a bilateral laminectomy and foraminotomy & poteriolateral fusion with autograft and allograft of the L5-S1. Due to the severities of his injuries, the Plaintiff had to undergo a third surgery: a 540 fusion along with a revision of the lumbar procedure. It was noted that it is highly likely that he will need additional surgeries in the future and possibly long-term aid.
Mr. McCallum proved that the company vehicle was equipped with safety straps. However, the employees intentionally elected not to use them. The Defendant, as an employer with many years of service in the industry, knew or should have known to follow their own safety rules as well as the rules of the road when it comes to cargo securement. Mr. McCallum developed strong evidence that the Defendants violated Texas State Law, among other safety rules and regulations that are intended to protect the public against harm.
With the Defendant's facing almost certain submission to the Jury on both ordinary and gross negligence claims, a compromise was reached on the eve of trial wherein the case resolved for 6,375,000.00.
The $6.375 million agreement is believed to be the second largest settlement ever reported in Lubbock County.