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$11 Million Settlement for Man who Lost Leg in Truck Collision

Attorney Brandon L. Peak

Defendants in a three-vehicle wreck settled a case filed by a garbage truck worker for $11 million during the first day of trial in Gwinnett County, Georgia state court. The case involved a motor vehicle wreck that resulted in 33-year old Bert Jessmon of LaFayette, Georgia losing his right leg above the knee.

Jessmon was represented by Brandon Peak, Tedra Cannella, Ramsey Prather, and Rory Weeks of Butler Wooten & Peak LLP, a law firm with offices in Atlanta and Columbus, GA, and Gerald Davidson of Mahaffey Pickens & Tucker LLP in Lawrenceville, GA.

The Defendants in the case were W.A. Kendall and Company, Inc., James Starks, and Greenwich Insurance Company. W.A. Kendall and Company, Inc. is a company in the business of cutting brush and vegetation to maintain easements, including power line easements, throughout Georgia.

Above-the-knee amputation

The case arose out of a January 6, 2015 wreck in Ringgold, Catoosa County, Georgia, which resulted in Jessmon losing his right leg in an above-the-knee amputation. At the time of the collision, Bert worked as a trash collector and rode on the back of a garbage truck.

Defendant James Starks, who was driving a W.A. Kendall chipper truck, caused the wreck when he negligently failed to yield and struck a passenger car that was passing both the chipper truck and the garbage truck. After being struck by the W.A. Kendall chipper truck, the passenger car pinned Jessmon between the driver’s side of that car and the rear of the garbage truck, crushing Bert’s legs.

The defendants initially denied liability and blamed the driver of the passenger car for driving too fast for the conditions and attempting to pass two stopped vehicles on a rural two-lane road. After more than 1-1/2 years of litigation, defendants admitted liability for the wreck shortly before trial on November 14, 2016.

"This settlement will ensure that Bert will have all the medical care he needs for the rest of his life and additional money to compensate him for what he has been through. He deserves every bit of it and this will help him have a better life and future,” said Brandon Peak, lead counsel for plaintiff Jessmon.

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