MOBILE, Ala., Nov. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, November 13, 2020, a Mobile County jury returned a $2 Million verdict in favor of a sheriff's deputy who was injured on January 29, 2018, when a tractor trailer operated by Southeastern Freight Lines, Inc. crashed into the back of his service vehicle at over 60 mph. At the time of the crash, Deputy Admire Gant was lawfully stopped on the westbound Bayway Bridge with his blue lights flashing, providing protection to a street sweeping operation ahead of him. The crash pitched Deputy Gant's service vehicle up onto the retaining wall, pushed him the length of a 6-story building, and caused the Southeastern Freight Lines truck to burn to the ground. The driver for Southeastern Freight Lines was uninjured.
The crash aggravated Deputy Gant's pre-existing spinal retrolisthesis, which is a condition that occurs when a vertebra slips backward or underneath a disc. At the time of trial, Deputy Gant had undergone six lumbar epidural procedures and medical testimony demonstrated he will likely need medical care in the future.
"This was a preventable crash. All the Southeastern Freight Lines truck had to do was follow the most basic safe driving principles," said attorney Robert Mitchell of Cunningham Bounds, who tried this case with his law partner, Lucy Tufts. "Deputy Gant has lived a life of service – in the United States Army, the United States Air Force, the Mobile Police Department, and now the Mobile County Sheriff's Office. Our law firm is proud to have represented him, and we're proud of the jury for standing up for him," Mitchell said.
The case was tried under strict COVID-19 safety protocols and is one of only a handful of plaintiff verdicts in the United States since jury trials were suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic. "It was clear the judges here in Mobile County and their staffs have put a lot of energy and effort into making the process safe for everyone involved – especially the jurors. The court did a tremendous job of keeping the jurors protected throughout the trial. I know the jurors were appreciative of that and it enabled them to focus on doing their job," added Mitchell.
The law firm of Cunningham Bounds, LLC, founded in 1958, is based in Mobile, Alabama and has been representing plaintiffs for over 60 years. Today the firm continues its tradition of representing victims in cases involving catastrophic personal injury, industrial accidents, defective products, truck and automobile accidents, and medical malpractice. The firm also has expertise in business litigation, complex litigation, and national and state class action litigation involving defective products and consumer fraud.