Case Conclusion Date: 06.21.2012
Practice Area: Trucking Accident
Outcome: Plaintiff's Verdict: $2,523,500.00
Description: On May 29, 2008, Rev. Kathleen Crockford was rear-ended by an 80,000 lb. tractor-trailer truck while stopped at an intersection on Route 1 in Stonington. The collision and resulting traumatic brain injury would forever change her life and leave her permanently disabled. On June 21, 2012, a federal court jury in Bridgeport returned a verdict in her favor for $2,523,500 ($1,273,500 economic damages and $1,250,000 non-economic damages). The case was tried by Attorneys Scott D. Camassar and Stephen M. Reck. The defendant, Larry Spencer, was an experienced tractor-trailer driver on his way to deliver a load a steel for his employer, Metals USA of Seekonk, MA. Witnesses did not see him slow down before he collided with the back of Rev. Crockford's VW Beetle and pushed it into a third vehicle. Mr. Spencer, who saw the stopped vehicles from as much as 1300' away prior to the collision, claimed his brakes failed. Police determined the brakes were fully functional and Mr. Spencer drove the vehicle away from the scene. Rev. Crockford was flown by Life Star to Hartford Hospital on account of her life-threatening injuries. She was released after four days, after which she was followed by the Hartford Hospital Head Injury Program for two years. She continues to suffer headaches, vertigo, fatigue, lack of stamina, lack concentration and attention, memory loss, slow mental processing, difficulty finding words and speaking fluently, irritability and depression. A two-day defense neuropsychological exam confirmed that her traumatic brain injury is permanent and that she suffers all of the symptoms and problems of which she complains. She requires daily medication to help improve concentration and deal with depression and has to nap every day just to function. At the time of the collision, Rev. Crockford was the full-time solo pastor of the Westerly-Pawcatuck Congregational Church and a part-time book editor, earning an average of about $65,000/year. She was planning to lead her church well into the future, for as long as she was healthy. As a result of the traumatic brain injury, she has been unable to return to work. She incurred about $84,000 in medical bills, and still takes multiple medications costing an average of $150/month. Multiple witnesses testified to the ways her quality of life has been severely diminished. The defendants offered $1.1 million prior to trial, which increased to $1.4 million during the trial. Rev. Crockford is a wonderful person and we are honored to have represented her.