Arizona Truck Accident Victims Awarded $13 Million in Consortium Claim

August 9, 2016 by

Motor vehicle accidents that injure and kill victims have devastating effects. Family members—including spouses, children, and parents—suffer greatly when their loved ones die in such accidents. In this case, a mother and father sued a trucking company after their son died in an accident involving a tractor trailer.

A 31-year-old husband and father was traveling along a roadway in Arizona when his vehicle collided with a overturned tractor trailer on the roadway. The man was killed instantly in the collision. His wife and children settled their case against the tractor trailer company on behalf of her husband’s estate. However, the man’s mother and father filed a separate suit against the tractor trailer company. The plaintiffs brought the suit for loss of consortium that happened as a result of their son’s death.

The plaintiffs in the case (the deceased’s parents) divorced when the deceased was two years old. As a result, the male plaintiff did not have an extremely close relationship with his son. During the trial the male plaintiff said his relationship with his son had “peaks and valley.” Because of this relationship, the defendant denied the consortium claim on behalf of the plaintiff father. The defendants claimed that the father did not have the type of relationship with his son that would entitle him to benefits. The father claimed that the accident took away his opportunity to repair the relationship with his son. The defense agreed that the mother did suffer a major loss because of her son’s death. However, the defense did disagree that the mother suffered a major financial loss because of her son’s death.

During the trial, the plaintiffs had only three witnesses: the mother, the father, and mother’s friend. The defense did not call any witnesses and did not present any exhibits. The trial lasted for one and a half days. In the end, the jury awarded the plaintiffs $13,218,000. This is thought to be one of the largest consortium verdicts in United States history. The jury awarded $5,000,000 to the mother for loss of companionship and affection; $2,500,000 to the mother for mental pain and suffering; $2,000,000 for to the mother for future mental pain and suffering; $2,000,000 to the father for loss of companionship and affection; $875,000 to the father for past mental pain and suffering; and $843,000 to the father for future mental pain and suffering.
In this case, a man who was a husband, father, and son died because of the defendant’s negligence. As a result, the man’s family will suffer for years to come without his companionship. The jury in this case saw the loss of a son and awarded the family with a large verdict. This award could never make up for the loss of their family member, but the plaintiffs can now rest a bit easier knowing justice has been served.

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