$450,512 – AUTO ACCIDENT

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HARRIS COUNTY

MOTOR VEHICLE

Intersection — Multiple Impact — Multiple Vehicle

Driver ran intersection without working stoplights, plaintiff said

VERDICT

$450,512

CASE

Russell Gammel
v. Wendy Vazquez-Buezo,
No. 2015-13748

COURT

Harris County District Court, 295th

JUDGE

Donna Roth

DATE

9/6/2019

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY(S)
Eric D. Nielsen (lead), The Nielsen
Law Firm, P.C., Houston, TX
Rasheed Taylor,
Taylor Law Firm,
Houston, TX

 

DEFENSE ATTORNEY(S)
Michael T. Sprague,
Sprague & Diamond, P.C.,
Houston, TX
FACTS & ALLEGATIONS

On Aug. 26, 2013, plaintiff Russell Gammel, 44, a high school’s physical education teacher and athletics coach, was driving north on Gessner Road, approaching the eastbound Northwest Freeway service road, in Houston. All the traffic lights were out.

Wendy Vazquez-Buezo was driving on the service road and did not stop at the intersection. Her car’s front end and the left front of Gammel’s pickup truck collided, and the pickup truck was pushed into a car that was in the lane to his right. Gammel claimed multiple injuries.

Gammel sued Vazquez-Buezo. Gammel alleged that Vazquez-Buezo was negligent in the operation of her vehicle.

Gammel testified that he stopped and waited his turn before proceeding into the intersection. The investigating police officer faulted Vazquez-Buezo for failing to yield the right of way.

Vazquez-Buezo testified that she was behind a box truck and did not realize the lights were out and that, if she had known, she would have stopped. Defense counsel argued that, because Gammel knew the lights were out and Vazquez-Buezo did not, Gammel was responsible for the accident.

RESULT

The jury found that Vazquez-Buezo was liable for the accident. It determined that Gammel’s damages totaled $450,512.

RUSSELL GAMMEL

$134,512 past medical cost
$211,000 future medical cost
$50,000 past physical impairment
$55,000 past physical pain
$450,512

DEMAND OFFER

$30,000 (insurance coverage’s limit)
Offer $7,800

INSURER(S)

State Farm Insurance Cos.

TRIAL DETAILS

Trial Deliberations: 3 hours
Jury Vote: 12-0
Jury Composition: 6 male, 6 female

PLAINTIFF EXPERT(S)

Nilesh Kotecha, M.D.,
neurosurgery,
Houston, TX

DEFENSE EXPERT(S)

Martin Bloom, M.D.,
orthopedic surgery,
Houston, TX
(videotaped testimony presented)