Congratulations to trial lawyers Randy and Alex Sorrels, of Sorrels Law in Houston, Texas, for their recent $352.7 million verdict!
The Sorrels credited lessons learned from Don’t Eat the Bruises, Rules of the Road, Polarizing the Case, and Damages 3 for helping them reach this ideal outcome for their clients. The Sorrels were kind enough to share a few details from the case, in which they represented the plaintiffs.
In September 2019, at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, a third-party fueling company failed to stop and yield and collided with a United Airlines tarmac worker. Witnesses testified that his body bounced several times on the hard tarmac pavement before landing on the ground. The impact caused a complete spinal cord injury at T10, instantly paralyzing him. Within 48 hours, he underwent several life-saving procedures, including an operation to fuse together his broken spinal cord. After the spinal cord surgery, doctors discovered that he had suffered a catastrophic stroke in the left part of his brain, rendering his right upper extremities paralyzed and severely affecting his cognitive abilities and speech. He would go on to remain in hospital and in-patient rehab care for over a year. To this day, he requires around-the-clock nursing and rehabilitative care.
The plaintiffs’ lawsuit against the third-party fueling company and its driver alleged both negligence and gross negligence claims, including a negligent training claim against the company. At trial, the defense argued that its driver was a good man and was “blinded by the sun,” preventing him from seeing the departing plane or the plaintiff's husband. The defense tried to convince the jury that the husband was partially to blame for not anticipating that the driver would drive through the airport’s “vehicle-service-road” unable to see. The defense also alleged that the husband had been working too much and was likely mentally and physically exhausted, causing him to not pay close enough attention to the other vehicle heading his way.
In October 2021, a Harris County, Texas jury rejected these defenses, finding the driver and fueling company wholly at fault. They returned a $352.7 million verdict: $287,390,000 to the husband, $25,282,000 to the wife, and $20,050,000 each to their two children. The trial court judge granted a remittitur, and the judgment is now $237 million. The plaintiffs have appealed the remittitur and the defendants have appealed the jury’s verdict.
To learn more about how Don’t Eat the Bruises, Rules of the Road, Polarizing the Case, and Damages 3 can help you win your next verdict, click the links below.