Sheaffer v. NuCO2
On June 3, 2015, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP attorneys Brian Panish, Deborah Chang, Tom Schultz and Austin Ward and co-counsel Carla DeDominicis obtained a $17,393,479.87 jury verdict in a Vista, California court for a young man who suffered severe facial injuries and a mild brain injury after being involved in a six-vehicle collision caused by a negligently driven NuCO2 truck. This is reportedly the highest amount ever awarded by a jury in the North County Division of the San Diego Superior Court.
Russell Sheaffer, then 24-year old, was driving the third of five cars in a row of stopped vehicles on Interstate 15 slammed into by a 35,000-pound Freightliner flatbed tanker truck . Mr. Sheaffer’s car was hit was so much force that its seat broke and Mr. Sheaffer’s car was propelled into the SUV in front of him. He sustained facial fractures along his jaw, an imploded sinus and a minor traumatic brain injury. It was later revealed that Mr. Sheaffer suffered from a traumatically induced, rapidly progressing, degenerative joint disease of the temporomandibular joints.
Although NcCO2 admitted liability for the accident, it denied that Mr. Sheaffer suffered the long term damages or pain and suffering that he claimed, pointing to his success as a young film maker since the accident as evidence of his recovery. In addition to his medical expenses and lost wages, the jury’s award included $12,500,000 for past and future pain and suffering.