Hamilton County Jury Awards $3.5 Million In Damages In Wreck Caused By Texting Driver

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Hamilton County jury has returned a verdict totaling $3.5 million in damages for a motorcycle driver who sustained a severe head injury in a rear end collision that attorneys said was caused by a driver who was texting.

The incident happend on April 14, 2010, on Highway 27 South near the Olgiati Bridge.

Witnesses testified that on the morning of the wreck traffic in the left hand lane where Marcus Black was traveling came to an abrupt stop when a person who was texting while driving suddenly cut from the right lane to the left lane of traffic. As cars came screeching to a stop, Mr. Black tried to stop his motorcycle, but ended up hitting the rear of the small sports car in front of him, launching him through the air and onto the pavement in the right hand lane. The texting driver drove off, apparently oblivious to the tragedy behind her, attorneys said.

A lawsuit was filed by Mr. Black against Jane Doe and Mr. Black’s uninsured motorist insurer. Patrick A. Cruise represented Mr. Black at trial, which began on Thursday and was concluded late Friday afternoon in Division III, Circuit Court, before Judge Marie Williams.

Mr. Black’s insurance company defended the texting driver at trial, contending she was not at fault.

The jury found the texting driver 75% at fault for the wreck, allocating 25% of the fault to Mr. Black. Under Tennessee comparative fault laws, the damages will be reduced to $2,625,000.

Attorney Cruise said the case was a horrific example of the dangers of texting and driving: “This verdict is important to Mr. Black and his family, and it’s a verdict that I hope will remind folks that this a public safety issue that we need to remedy.”


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest booking report from Hamilton County: AUSTIN, RYAN BISHOP  121 ALBANY STEET CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge FUGITIVE (ARREST FOR CRIME IN WALKER CO, GA) --- BAKER, DONALD SCOTT  2012 LAURA STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 48 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Just 4,380 Have Voted In The City Election After 9 Days Of Early Voting

Just 4,380 Chattanooga voters have cast ballots after nine days of early voting leading up to the March 7 city election. One day just 48 people showed up at the Northgate voting site. Only 88 went to the most popular early voting site - the election office off Amnicola Highway the same day. The high turnout thus far has been 199 at the election office on Tuesday. The ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump's Latest Delight

I was quite amused this week when Donald Trump’s administration “locked out” several news organizations from the daily press briefings at the White House. The reason I loved it because in the 50 years I have spent in the news business, I have been locked out of press conferences, too. To be truthful, I am a longtime veteran of a bunch of “you versus me” squabbles and, if I do say, ... (click for more)

McCallie Advances To D-II Final Four With 67-48 Win

The third time wasn’t the charm for the Pope John Paul II Knights. Playing at McCallie in the quarterfinal round of the Division II state basketball tournament Saturday night, the Knights played better than they had the previous two times they met, but the result was the same as McCallie advanced to the Final Four with a 67-48 victory. McCallie, snipping a three-game losing ... (click for more)

'Canes Roll Past Stone Memorial 62-38 In Region 3-3A Action

East Hamilton was able to shake off a devastating 30-point loss to Cleveland in the District 5-3A championship game earlier in the week and Stone Memorial was victimized by the Hurricanes’ big bounce-back. East Hamilton held the visitors scoreless in the first quarter and went on to shellack the Panthers 62-38 in a history-making victory on its home court Saturday night. ... (click for more)