Naser Mowfy emigrated from Egypt to the U.S. in 1984 with a passport and a dream. Twenty-seven years later, he had turned his ambition into a successful heating and air-conditioning business, and he held a master’s license in electrical work and HVAC. Over the years, he became the proud father of three children and husband to a loving wife.
Then, in 2011, they nearly lost him to a tragic car wreck in an amateur racing event.
Naser was racing on Langley Speedway in Hampton when his car skidded headlong into a wall, fracturing his skull through his helmet. He was in a coma for 19 days. He finally awoke to his family’s immediate delight — which turned to horror when they realized that he had suffered permanent brain damage.
Although he retained much of his intelligence, Naser now had the emotional age of a teenager. He was — and remains — brash, impulsive, quick to anger and easy to distract. Unable to perform his work, he lost his business and has had to remain at home, where he requires constant supervision.
The Mowfy family had regained a father, but lost a patriarch. Now it was Naser who needed to be taken care of.
His wife phrased the heartbreak of brain injuries painfully well to The Daily Press:
“If I could describe brain injury in one word, I would say it’s ‘relentless.’ It never stops. It not only affects the person, but everyone who loves them.”
The circumstances of Naser’s crash are appalling. The seat in his car had risen up during the crash, propelling his head into the car’s hard interior and causing the brain injury that fractured his skull and changed his life. That’s because speedway operator Victory Lane Motorsports and racing event manager Mike Southard did not bolt down the driver’s seat for safety as is done in professional racing, despite marketing the event as a NASCAR-style race.
So the Mowfy family hired the Brain Injury Law Center to seek justice on their behalf. Nothing could take back Naser’s injury, but those who were liable needed to be held accountable for the harm that resulted from their blatant disregard for safety.
“They promoted it as a NASCAR-type racing experience, where you invite the public to drive a NASCAR-type car,” David Holt, one of the Brain Injury Law Center attorneys who worked the case, told The Daily Press. “So they should have had NASCAR-type safety to protect that driver from impacts.”
At just $50 per car, this safety step would have been peanuts for Victory Lane and Southard to perform, but it was ignored in a disastrous example of cost-cutting that nearly cost our client his life.
The Brain Injury Law Center filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Victory Lane and Southard on behalf of the Mowfy family, citing negligence leading to a lack of proper safety training and providing an unsafe vehicle to drivers.
‘Dirty, Nasty and Hardball Tactics’
After the case was underway, Southard, a twice convicted felon, allegedly tried to alter the vehicle Naser crashed in prior to the trial. Victory Lane owner William Mullis was hit with a restraining order after attempting to intimidate one of his employees into not testifying about the illegitimate conduct of the two defendants.
“The case was litigated by the defendants using dirty, nasty, and hardball tactics with a total disregard for the damages they caused to the victim and his family. I was ashamed to be in the same courtroom with them,” said Stephen M. Smith, founder of the Brain Injury Law Center.
Thankfully, their efforts to derail justice were futile when faced with due process. Last month, the Mowfy family was elated to learn that justice had prevailed. Mike Southard and Victory Lane Motorsports were ordered to pay $3 million between them to Naser Mowfy as punishment for their callous disregard of drivers’ health, and as restitution for his medical bills, lost future wages and the pain and suffering the entire Mowfy family.
“The idea was to ferret out how much insurance coverage there was, and get every penny of it,” Holt said. “Now the family has a little bit of money to live on the rest of their years.”
The settlement prevented the case from going to trial, where attorney Stephen Smith was prepared to further expose the despicable conduct of the two men. Regardless, the victory represents the surest and fastest way to ensure the Mowfy family’s well-being.
Still, nothing can replace the parts of Nafer Mowfy that were lost that day four years ago. His wife and children know that their lives have been irrevocably changed. But through the tenacity of the legal system, and their years-long commitment to justice, they now have the means to put their lives back together and move forward — not as victims of a traumatic brain injury, but as survivors.
About the Brain Injury Law Center
For over four decades, Brain Injury Law Center has tried and won many multi-million dollar lawsuits for Virginians. We’ve built a nationwide reputation as the go-to firm to handle complex brain injury litigation. Read about our success stories and how we’ve helped people who have suffered traumatic brain injuries win the compensation they deserve and begin recovering their life.