Blog

Corpus Christi Jury Sends Message to Cola-Cola

Photo of Brant Stogner

According to the Corpus Christi Caller Times, a Corpus Christi jury awarded $24 million last Friday to a woman that was catastrophically injured by a Coca-Cola driver that was using her cellphone at the time of the collision. Of the $24 million awarded, $14 million was allocated for actual damages (the damages to compensate the plaintiff for the terrible injuries she sustained - past and future medical bills, past and future loss of earning capacity, and past and future pain, impairment and disfigurement) and $10 million was allocated to punitive damages (those damages that are meant to deter such conduct in the future).

Vanice Chatman-Wilson was terribly injured in the collision with the Coke truck. She is only thirty-seven and has already undergone lumbar spine surgery for one of her injuries. According to the attorneys' statements, Coca-Cola was hit with punitive damages for its cellphone policy and lack of enforcement. The driver of the Coca-Cola truck was using a cellphone at the time of the collision, despite the company's policy of requiring a hands-free device for making or receiving calls when the drivers operate a vehicle. The evidence at trial showed that Coca-Cola Enterprises allows its drivers to use a cellphone for business whenever necessary and did not enforce the hands-free rule.

Attorneys for the injured victim argued that Coca-Cola should have had a no-cellphone policy in place for when its drivers are operating the vehicles. The attorneys also argue that the company should have informed its drivers on the risks inherent in operating a commercial vehicle while driving and outlawed the practice altogether. The $10 million in punitive damages was the jury's way of trying to change Coke's policy on allowing its drivers to talk on a cellphone while driving. This was a strong and clear message from the citizens of Nueces County.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a vehicle accident, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

Get Your Free Case Review 713.587.9668

Let Us Help You Today! Request a Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Firm News & Updates

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

  • $50+ Million Personal Injury Plant Fire and Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

Our Record Of Success.

When you are hurt and you choose a law firm to represent you in court or at the negotiation table, you need to carefully consider the firm's record.

More Success Stories