Tuesday, June 23, 2009


A Broward County, Florida jury, after a week long trial, has awarded a driver, paralyzed when his 18-Wheeler overturned, $14.6 million after two days of deliberations.

Derry Brown, Jr., 64, of Pakohee, Florida was paralyzed in the May 31st, 2007 accident on State Road 80 just east of Lion Country Safari.

The initial accident occurred two years ago when the driver of a vehicle that never stopped, ran a stop sign and cut off Brown, who was hauling a load of sugar in his 1998 Freightliner truck.

Initially his own insurance company, National Casualty Company, refused to pay, forcing Brown to file suit against the company for uninsured motorist benefits to help find a way to cover the costs of the mounting medical bills. The huge verdict against National Casualty could have reportedly been avoided if the company had promptly stepped-up to the plate and paid the benefits when due, according to Brown's legal counsel.

Brown's legal counsel said the insurance company denied coverage to Brown forcing him to file suit and go to trial. Shortly before the trial began, Circuit Judge Cheryl Aleman, ruled that Brown was entitled to the Uninsured Motorist benefits under the National Casualty Policy. The company is expected to appeal.

Because of his medical condition, Brown who is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Florida Institute for Neurological Rehabilitation in Wachula was unable to attend the majority of the trial. He was however air-lifted to the Broward County courthouse, along with his medical team, for his one day of trial testimony, and was represented in court by his wife and granddaughter

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