Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Largest Personal Injury Verdict of 2001

Adele Janow, 60, of White Plains, N.Y., sued Great Coastal Express of Richmond for injuries she sustained in a crash on Dec. 21, 1997, that began when the tractor-trailer truck leaked diesel fuel on the roadway. Ms. Janow was injured when her car drove through the spill and spun out of control, said her attorney Stephen M. Smith of the Brain Injury Law Center.

A jury last year awarded Ms. Janow $5.2 million, the largest personal injury verdict in Virginia in 2001. Ms. Janow suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and neck, back and rib injuries in the accident. Ms. Janow was a special education teacher and speech pathologist who became an attorney so she could practice law upon her retirement from teaching. The accident left her unable to practice law, Smith said.

Great Coastal Express appealed the verdict on several grounds, and the Supreme Court ruled Friday there were insufficient grounds to overturn the verdict.

“We’re very pleased that her verdict was upheld,” Smith said. “Ms. Janow and her family deserved the compensation in light of what she will have to go through for the rest of her life.”

“It is hoped that this verdict will make people more aware of the horrors of a traumatic brain injury,” said Smith, who is a board member of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia.”

The original lawsuit claimed Great Coastal Express was negligent in operating the tractor-trailer by failing to prevent the leak.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident and sustained brain or head injury you could be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys at The Brain Injury Law Center for a consultation. Call the office toll-free (877) 840-3431 or reach us online.

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