Posted: May 11th, 2012
A Texan woman whose car was hit by lorry driver talking on a mobile phone has been awarded $24 million for neck, spine and back injuries she sustained in the collision. Thirty-seven-year-old Vanice Chatman-Wilson from Corpus Christi in Texas sustained the injuries when her car – a Ford Fusion – was hit by a Coca-Cola delivery lorry being driven by Araceli Vanessa Cabral who had been talking on her mobile phone and not fully concentrating on the road.
Chatman-Wilson managed to secure compensation after seeking legal advice from a personal injury claim solicitor and despite the fact that driving while talking on a mobile phone is not against the law in Texas. In court, Chatman-Wilson secured compensation after Coca-Cola defended itself by pointing out that it operates a hands-free policy for staff; Cabral said that she had never been made aware of the dangers of driving while talking on a mobile phone.
The jury at the Corpus Christi High Court awarded Chatman-Wilson the $24 million for her pain and suffering and punitive damages. She was left with permanent nerve damage despite undergoing a lumbar operation in February last year. Her solicitor said after the claim that the jury’s decision should serve as a warning to Coca-Cola that they need to better educate their drivers on the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.