What’s Behind the Multi-Million Dollar Jury Awards in Seattle?

Two separate jury awards in Seattle –reached within days of one another – have resulted in multi-million dollar awards for bicyclists who were hit by vehicles. One verdict was against the City of Seattle, while the other was against a driver’s employer.

We’ll talk about them both in this issue.

The Case Against Valet Parkers

A jury awarded $38 million to a bicyclist injured four years ago when he was hit by a valet driver.

The cyclist suffered a traumatic brain injury, shattered hip and a host of other injuries. His medical bills, at the time of the trial, had already topped $420,000 and are expected to continue to mount.

His lawyer was able to successfully prove to jurors that the company’s valet drivers routinely made an illegal shortcut across two traffic lanes of a busy avenue and that no safety training had been provided by the company for their drivers.

“They (the company) didn’t direct them to do it (make the illegal shortcuts); they just never stopped them from doing it,” the cyclist’s lawyer said.

A judge ruled that the company was solely responsible for the accident, while the jury determined the amount.

The Case Against the City

Another jury has ruled that the City of Seattle will have to pay a young man the majority of a $2.7 million award for being hit by a semi-truck.

The young man was riding his bicycle after work when he was struck by the semi at an intersection. The truck driver was turning right onto a road commonly used by large trucks.

An attorney for the young man was able to successfully argue that the crash occurred because the truck driver’s vision was obscured or blocked by bridge columns that were put in place to support a viaduct near the intersection.

Because of that, jurors ruled that the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) was 58% at fault, forcing the city to pay nearly $1.6 million.

A traffic engineer for the City said, “We are going to be reviewing our options for what we need to do at that intersection.”

If You’ve Been Harmed by the Negligence of Someone Else, Call Barber & Associates

If you’ve suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury suit. Keep in mind that it’s very important that you speak with an attorney skilled in personal injury law so that you’re properly compensated for lost wages, medical bills, etc.

Get in touch with us here at Barber & Associates. The first consultation is always free.

Our number is 907-276-5858 or you can reach us via email.

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