In October of 2007, the Court of Appeals in Kentucky heard a case that involved a woman involved in an automobile accident where she was seriously injured while a passenger in someone else’s car. (See Gersh v. Bowman, 239 S.W.3d 567 (Ky.App. 2007)).
In Gersh, Plaintiff Gersh appealed a lower court’s judgment whereby Mr. Gersh was found liable for the serious bodily injuries he caused to Ms. Bowman following an automobile accident. The jury found Plaintiff liable for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and impairment of her power to work and earn money, as well as punitive damages. Id.
The facts of this Kentucky automobile accident were as follows. Plaintiff was driving his car in the early morning hours while it was still dark and lost control of his car while traveling at speeds exceeding the posted limits on a sharp curve in the road. Id. Before arriving at the curve someone said to him ““you know there’s a curve up ahead, right? To which he responded “yeah, I got it.”” Id. Plaintiff took the curve way to fast, lost control and sent the car flying into the air and all over the road before going airborne and landing on another concrete culvert. Id. As a result Ms. Bowman sustained lacerations to her face, her nose was shattered, her right cheek bone was fractured, her right eye socket was fractured and she had three broken vertebrae requiring 7 surgeries in a 2 year period with at least 2 more planned. Id. She also suffered psychological damages, missed a lot of school, and had her grades suffer. Id.
Ms. Bowman sustained a jury award of $43,185.81 in future medical expenses, $250,000 for the impairment to work and earn money, $2,000,000 for pain and suffering and lost enjoyment of life, and $100,000 in punitive damages. Id.
Plaintiff’s Kentucky automobile accident lawyer tried to argue that an award of punitive damages was not available in a case like this. This Court did not agree. The award was not based on passion or prejudice. The jury in this automobile case was allowed to award whatever they wanted and only awarded $100,000. There was sufficient evidence to support such an award.
Further as to the large award for pain and suffering in this Kentucky automobile accident case, the Court held that such an award was not excessive either. Ms. Bowman had serious injuries and many surgeries. The award was consistent with the injuries, both physical and mental that Ms. Bowman sustained in this Kentucky automobile accident case.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky automobile accident matter, please call and speak to a Kentucky automobile accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!