Last week my Firm had the pleasure of winning a case for our clients. We presented our clients’ case to a Harris County jury of 12 and the jury returned a verdict in favor of our clients.
A young male died after a trash truck backed up, struck and killed him. He left a behind a loving wife and daughter-our clients. Most tragic, his wife was 5 months pregnant at the time he was killed.
The accident happened on January 15, 2007. The family hired us to investigate any wrongdoing by the trash company and its employee-driver. We discovered that the driver chose not to follow proper backing procedures at the time he struck and killed the young man. The trash truck and driver were responsible for causing the accident.
The wife was only 23 years old and had no knowledge whatsoever of the civil justice system. She had never been a part of a lawsuit prior to her husband’s death. And although she had never dealt with lawyers, she did not trust lawyers. This distrust was based on the “lying lawyer stereotype.” (That is an issue for another day, but let me just say, don’t blame the entire profession for a couple of bad apples).
For the next six weeks, the wife called me 4 to 6 times a week asking questions, many times the same question. But I certainly understood her situation-she was grieving, alone and trying to figure out how she was going to raise her daughter without her husband. I remained patient and answered every question-it did not matter that it was Saturday or Sunday. I remember vividly stepping out of a wedding ceremony to again explain to her the legal process and the progress of our investigation. While the timing of the calls may not have been ideal, it was my pleasure to assist a client who needed our help.
One day she finally admitted that she trusted me and my Firm; she actually learned to trust a lawyer. The updates continued but they became less frequent as she knew she had a team of lawyers working for her.
Our investigation revealed that the trash company and its driver broke their own backing up rules. However, they did not want to take responsibility. We filed a lawsuit against the trash company and its driver. For the next year and half, we worked hard to make sure the trash company and its driver accepted their responsibility. We exchanged documents with the trash company and took various depositions of the trash company’s employees who investigated the accident-all saying the trash company and driver were at fault. However, they still did not want to take responsibility. They said we did it but we shouldn’t have to pay.
During the week of November 17, 2008, our clients had their day in court. After presenting their case for 4 days, a Harris County jury of 12 returned a verdict for the wife and daughter. Finally, the young man could rest in peace.