A Texas jury returned a verdict of $28.4 million to a mother and daughter for injuries sustained as passengers in a 2010 company vehicle accident.
The case was tried in 79th Judicial Court of Jim Wells County. On entry of judgment the verdict may be increased to as much as $32 million due to pre-trial interest.
The accident took place on October 19, 2010 when Angelique Briones, 40, and Elida Briones, 57, were passengers in a LeFleur Transportation of Texas, Inc. vehicle being driven by Delfina Salazar. Salazar entered an intersection on a yellow light on Highway 44 in Alice, TX (near Corpus Christi) and was struck by another vehicle.
The accident caused injuries to both women. Angelique Briones suffered a back injury requiring surgery. Her mother, Elida, suffered a neck injury and underwent surgery.
Although it was disputed before the trial, testimony presented in court showed that Delfina Salazar was not adequately trained on driver safety before the accident.
"We have seen time and time again how drivers operating company vehicles can cause serious injuries," said plaintiff's attorney Thomas J. Henry. "We are pleased that the jury was able to recognize how this company's subpar safety standards were to blame for this accident. Hopefully, verdicts like this will keep our families safer on the roadways," he added.