South Texas Jury Awards $281 Million in Lawsuit

December 9, 2013

  • December 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    Boonedoggle says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 12
    Thumb down 3

    Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks frequently and proudly about the legal environment of the Lone Star state. I suppose this “Texas size” verdict should just be considered a cost of doing business within Texas borders.

    If the verdict stands, I would suspect that Nuverra Environmental Services, the owner of defendent Heckmann, might have to add a bit to their labor rates in Texas, in order to cover casualty loss expenses.

    • December 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm
      BetterWeather says:
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 16
      Thumb down 0

      This award won’t stand, but I guess since there are only $100 million in punitive damages they awarded $181 million in compensatory damages. I wonder how they came up with that figure.

  • December 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    TX Agent says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 7
    Thumb down 2

    Welcome to “The Valley” where jury awards are that of LA, MS and AL.

  • December 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm
    Scott says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 24
    Thumb down 0

    No, this award won’t stand once common sense prevails. A tragic accident, yes. Worth $281M? Hardly.

    • December 11, 2013 at 10:28 am
      Libby says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 8
      Thumb down 9

      How much would your wife say your life is worth?

      • December 11, 2013 at 10:50 am
        Personal Responsibility says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 0
        Thumb down 9

        A life is worth two or three times lifetime earnings, so let’s say maybe several million dollars.

        But this guy didn’t die he was injured. If the injuries are expensive to care for then the award should cover that care (plus some), which could be a lot more than several million dollars.

        • December 12, 2013 at 7:47 am
          KY jw says:
          Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 2
          Thumb down 0

          “The family of a man killed by a part breaking off a truck …”

      • December 11, 2013 at 5:01 pm
        Geeze, Libby says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 1
        Thumb down 0

        Where’s that plugged nickle?

      • December 11, 2013 at 8:26 pm
        David Eggers says:
        Like or Dislike:
        Thumb up 5
        Thumb down 1

        “How much would your wife say your life is worth?”

        Not $281,000,000. That’s the lifetime earnings of around 150 people.

        • December 17, 2013 at 11:34 am
          Libby says:
          Like or Dislike:
          Thumb up 5
          Thumb down 2

          That’s sad. The correct answer is “priceless.”

  • December 11, 2013 at 10:47 am
    Personal Responsibility says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 6
    Thumb down 7

    Where is the personal responsibility? If this joker didn’t want to get impaled by a driveshaft then it was his responsibility to install a driveshaft-proof windshield.

    Eh? Right, Texas?

  • December 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm
    Jeff says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 8
    Thumb down 2

    I have a general problem with punitive damages because they use the civil standard of preponderance of the evidence to award what is, in essence, a criminal penalty. I would think that the burden of evidence for this kind of penalty would be reasonable doubt.

    If you take out this objection, I don’t necessarily have a problem with the size of the award. This is a punishment for bad behavior, not compensation.

  • December 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm
    Huh! says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 11
    Thumb down 0

    Both awards are excessive. Our juries are out of control, but I guess they do represent a majority our population’s beliefs and value systems. I don’t agree with them. In my lifetime, I will not be able to contribute $100 million (let alone $181 million or more) to my family. Even those who might garner that much income rarely spend it all, so why award such ludicrously high amounts? If you must think big, use punitive damages to help offset our deficit or contribute something to those whose income are below the poverty level.

  • December 12, 2013 at 11:50 am
    Harold Rollins says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 8
    Thumb down 1

    Get Real, this is an award that mostly goes into the lawyers pocket. The family lost a life and life is priceless. All those lost future years, wisdom, and love from that life can not be replaced. At least the family can afford counseling, shelter,clothes and food.

    • January 20, 2014 at 1:12 pm
      InsGuy says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      to you & Libby: so how do you award “priceless”, eh?

      I know, how about award = Infinity. Or, if you really want to send a message, Infinity x Infinity ooh that’ll really get em.

      Doesn’t matter. Lawyer will get most – if this stands bankruptcy will eat the rest (excess of the insurance limit)

  • December 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm
    uct says:
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 15
    Thumb down 0

    I hope my wife doesn’t read this. If so, I suspect a broken muffler will be flying through my windshield at any time….

  • December 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    GMcG says:
    Like or Dislike:
    Thumb up 3
    Thumb down 1

    This judgement illustrates why, when I was a casualty underwriter doing business in Canada, I would refuse to cover any company that had any kind of operation in Texas. Texas courts have once again proven the wisdom of this stance.

    • December 16, 2013 at 11:10 pm
      Mark says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 1
      Thumb down 2

      why not? Coverage was, at max, $5M. That’s pocket change to large carriers. If you’re in Canada, you obviously have limited knowledge of Texas insurance. If you think Texas courts are bad, you must not be doing much business ANYWHERE in the United States because most Texas courts are tame compared to the majority of the US.

    • January 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm
      InsGuy says:
      Like or Dislike:
      Thumb up 0
      Thumb down 0

      It’s South Texas. They’re considered a “judicial hellhole.”



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

More News
More News Features