CLG Gets GSU Nursing Student a jury verdict of $15 million
On Friday, January 20, 2017, a Bryan County jury, in Pembroke, Georgia, gave Megan Richards a verdict of $15,000,000 for the injuries, both physical and psychological, that she suffered on April 22, 2015. Early that morning, she and six of her friends in the Georgia Southern Nursing Program were headed to Savannah for their final clinical nursing practicums. While stopped in a long line of traffic in Interstate 16, a Total Transportation of Mississippi, LLC ("TTM") truck plowed into the back of the SUV in which Megan rode and into the smaller car that three of her friends occupied. Altogether, five of her friends died, and Megan and another young woman were severely injured.
Megan suffered various orthopedic injuries, including fractured transverse processes, and a broken left scapula. Worse, however, is the traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) and severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) that she suffered. Susceptibility Weighted Imaging, a special type of MRI, showed that Megan had numerous shearing tears between the white and gray matter in her brain, causing her TBI. It was as if she had been dropped off a 7-story building, according to one of the experts in the case. Megan took her case to trial, despite settlement offers, as a testament to her five friends who did not survive the crash.
A key issue in the trial was Richards’ success in having the nation’s 5th largest motor carrier (U.S. Xpress) also being found responsible for the conduct of the company driver in the employ of its subsidiary. Richards’ lawyers proved that TTM and U.S. Xpress disregarded certain required corporate forms and operated as a single business entity for purposes of liability.
Megan’s trial team consisted of Cheeley Law Group, LLC (Bob Cheeley, Keith Pittman, Patrick Dawson, and Sherry Schons) and Jones, Osteen & Jones (Billy Jones, Carl Varnedoe, and Marie Gaskin). Bob Cheeley and Billy Jones served as lead trial counsel.
Megan has been a wonderful and inspirational client. Hopefully, this verdict will bring her some measure of closure, and she can move forward in her chosen career.