A Riverside County Superior Court jury has awarded Jaishree and Prakash Sheth $36,482,302.56 in the big-rig truck crash that left Jaishree Sheth catastrophically injured. The Sheths were represented at the four week trial by Panish Shea & Boyle LLP attorneys Brian Panish, Tom Schultz and Ryan Casey. This is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in Riverside County history.
The Sheths were passengers in a Toyota Camry traveling westbound on the 10 freeway in Beaumont when a big-rig owned by Schneider National and operated by its employee improperly attempted to pass the car, crossed over into the Camry’s lane and hit the vehicle. The impact of the truck caused the Camry to spin out of control across the freeway where it hit the median barrier and was struck by another vehicle. The Camry then careened back across all three freeway lanes and over the freeway shoulder, coming to a rest on the edge of a man-made wash with a 20 foot drop below.
58-year old Jaishree Sheth, who was seated in the backseat of the Camry behind the driver, suffered a C5-6 fracture and spinal cord injury in the March 26, 2010 accident. When she arrived at the hospital, Mrs. Sheth was completely paralyzed. She underwent two emergency surgeries, experienced respiratory failure and was hospitalized for two months. Mrs. Sheth still requires 24-hour attendant care.
At the time of the truck accident, the Sheths were visiting the United States from India and were on their way to the Orange County airport for a family vacation to Hawaii. At trial, Schneider National attempted to place blame for the accident on the driver of the Camry and also argued that Mrs. Sheth should recover less because she could seek care and treatment for her injuries in India where medical costs are lower. The driver of the big-rig did not testify at trial in his or Schneider National’s defense.
The jury awarded Mr. Sheth:
Past Medical: $5,78.56
Past Pain and Suffering: $1,000,000.00
Future Pain and Suffering: $1,000,000.00
Loss of Consortium: $1,000,000.00
The jury awarded Mrs. Sheth:
Past Loss of Earnings: $18,746.00
Future Loss of Earnings: $80,171.00
Past Loss of Household Services: $8,000.00
Future Loss of Household Services: $89,425.00
Past Medical: $469,490.00
Future Medical: $4,810,992.00
Past Pain and Suffering: $6,000,000.00
Future Pain and Suffering: $22,000,000.00
“The plaintiffs have suffered tremendously and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives. The jury recognized this with their verdict. Justice was done. “ Brian J. Panish.
Jaishree Sheth v. Schneider National Carriers, Inc.
Case No. RIC 10020226
Superior Court of the State of California, Riverside County
The Hon. Sharon J. Waters, presiding
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Brian Panish or Thomas Schultz