The Ohio Trial Reporter is a publication that tracks jury verdicts and settlements throughout the state of Ohio. Recently reported was a $4,625,000.00 settlement achieved by lead counsel, Mitchell J. Alter of the firm, Vickery, Riehl, & Alter. The summary of the case is published electronically on LEXIS-NEXIS, WestLaw and www.verdicts.com.
The suit was filed in the Clark County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Springfield. The case number is 06CVC0514, and is styled Estate of Margaret Patton and Estate of Schuyler Wood v. Darling International and James B. Holland;Undercar Specialty Warehouse and Frederick Woods.
Margaret Patton was driving a small Mazda with her son, Schuyler Wood, as a front seat passenger on August 3, 2005. They were stopped in traffic due to an accident that did not involve them. While stopped, the Patton vehicle was rear-ended by a tanker truck operated by Holland, who was working for Darling International, Inc. The impact speed was approximately 65mph. Holland’s truck drove over the back and top of the Patton vehicle, and then collided with the Wood’s vehicle. The gas tank on the Mazda ruptured and all three vehicles became engulfed in flames. Patton and her son were trapped in their vehicle with no means of escape and died. The fire was so intense that emergency responders did not even find the Patton vehicle and the bodies until after the fire was brought under control.
A urine drug screen test of Holland, the tanker driver that rear-ended the Patton vehicle was postive for the presence of opiates in Holland’s system. However, he was charged only with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter as a result of the failure to obtain follow-up definitive testing with regard to the drug screen.
The settlement is believed to be one of the largest personal injury settlements in Clark County Ohio.
For more information, please visit our website. The initial settlement offer made on the case by the insurance companies was in the amount of $900,000.00.