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Local jury awards $775,000 judgment - Dothan Eagle: News

Local jury awards $775,000 judgment

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Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2014 4:38 pm

A local jury awarded a Houston County man more than $700,000 for damages suffered during a traffic accident in 2012.

According to court records, plaintiff Billy Smith suffered multiple injuries when his vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer at the intersection of Main and Oates streets in the early morning hours of March 16, 2012.

Attorneys for the plaintiff argued that the driver of the truck, which was being used for beer distribution, ran a red light, causing the accident. According to the complaint, Smith suffered a fractured cervical spine, two broken hands and other injuries.

Following more than three days of testimony, the jury returned the judgment Thursday afternoon.

Smith was represented by Farrest Taylor of the Cochran Firm in Dothan and Warren Cobb and John White of the firm Cobb, Boyd, White and Cobb in Dothan.

The jury awarded Smith $700,000, and awarded his wife an additional $75,000 in compensatory damages for loss of consortium.

Defendants United Distributing Company and Robert Allan Barnes argued that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof by failing to submit substantial evidence to support the claims asserted. Further, the defendants claim the plaintiffs failed to prove the conduct of the defendants was willful and/or wanton related to the claim for punitive damages. The defendants were represented by the Montgomery firm of Ball, Ball, Matthews and Novak.

Circuit Judge Kevin Moulton presided over the case.