BY: Michael Finch, II, al.com
MOBILE, Alabama -- A Mobile County jury granted a man a $1 million award for damages after a car accident with a UPS delivery truck two years ago.
Gerald Simoneau II was driving on Rangeline Road when a UPS truck driven by Steven A. Chestnut veered onto the street, colliding with the vehicle he was driving, according to a complaint filed in Mobile County Circuit Court.
After the February 28 crash, Simoneau, underwent multiple surgeries to repair broken bones, including his ribs and clavicle; and permanent injuries to one of his arms. A jury awarded Simoneau compensatory damages for the incident Thursday.
"UPS's driver chose not to follow basic safety rules. By violating the right-of-way, he caused a collision that permanently injured another person," said Lucy Tufts, an attorney for Cunningham Bounds who represented Simoneau, the plaintiff.
Chestnut, who was then employed by UPS, attempted to cross the intersection near Todd Acres Road and pulled in front of Simoneau only seconds before they both collided.
"UPS is disappointed with the jury's verdict and we are evaluating whether we are going to appeal," said Susan Rosenberg, a spokesperson at the corporate office in Atlanta. "Because it's so recent our lawyers need time to study the elements of the verdict."
The shipping and logistics company has 30 days to file a motion for an appeal. That motion can sit before a judge as long as 90 days.
"Even after its driver admitted fault, UPS was not willing to accept responsibility. UPS spent 2 ½ years litigating the case and wanted the jury to believe that Mr. Simoneau was to blame for not seeing and avoiding its delivery truck," Tufts said.
"The jury's verdict sent a message that it is important for corporations like UPS to be accountable and to take responsibility for their actions when they cause harm to someone else."