In Riverside County, California, a jury awarded Jaishree and Prakash Sheth over $36 million for an 18-wheeler crash that left Jaishree Sheth with a fractured spine. According to the evidence at trial, Mrs. Sheth suffered fractures at C5-6 and was completely paralyzed upon admission to the hospital. She underwent two emergency surgeries, suffered respiratory failure and was hospitalized for over two months subsequently. According to the pleadings, she still requires 24-hour attendant care. The Sheths filed suit against Schneider National, a multi-national trucking company, for the negligence of its driver in causing the catastrophic collision.
The lawsuit and verdict stems from a March 26, 2010 accident in which the Sheths were passengers in a Toyota Camry. The evidence at trial showed that the driver of the Schneider National 18-wheeler attempted to pass the Camry, drifted into the Camry’s lane, and struck the car causing it to spin out of control. The Camry then collided with the median, was struck by another vehicle, and then it came to rest after careening across all the lanes of traffic and over the highway shoulder.
While Schneider National is planning to move the court for a new trial, and pursue an “aggressive appeal” if the motion is unsuccessful, the jury has spoken. According to a spokesman for Schneider National, “While we respect the process and thank the jury for their service, we believe that the verdict and the award of damages are not supported by the evidence.” According to the attorney for the injured victims, “the amount [of the verdict] was based on the devastating injuries Mrs. Sheth suffered and will continue to suffer.” He added, “in America it is the community and jury who decides compensation – not the wrongdoer.”