Jury Awards $10M in Damages in U-Haul Case

11/17/2008

Recently my friends and fellow trial attorneys Peter Perlman and Tyler Thompson tried a defective tow-dolly case in federal court. The suit alleged that U-Haul, over the years, has changed it policies regarding the use of its car-hauling dollys in order to maximize profits. The jury determined that U-Haul's policies were not safe because they allowed the weight of the towed vehicle to be equal to that of the towing vehicle. The jury determined that U-Haul's dolly and policies were the reason Christopher and Corry Burke and their infant son, Ryan were all injured when their Ford Explorer fishtailed out of control and crashed. Corry was injured the worst and is now a quadripalegic. The jury awarded $10 million dollars in damages. U-Haul, through it's lawyers plan to appeal the verdict. I am not suprised U-Haul is appealing the verict. Almost all large verdicts are appealed. What I am suprised about are the majority of comments made by readers of the Courier Journal. Without hearing a single shred of evidence, readers are critical of, not only the amount, but that a jury would even find U-Haul at fault. According to the CJ, "the trial lasted two weeks; the nine-member jury deliberated for two days before finding for the Burkes on Feb. 13. The jury unanimously found that U-Haul failed to exercise ordinary care in the design and distribution of the tow dolly the Burkes were using, that the dolly was "defective and unreasonably dangerous," and that each failure was a "substantial factor" in the accident." Maybe we shoud give the people who heard all of the evidence a little credit. After all, this is the same system we allow to put people to death.

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