At 9:35 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2004, David, 52, was driving a bus at 3100 North Terminal Road at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston when he was rear-ended by a bus driven by Paul Le, who was in the course and scope of his employment with Momentum Air Ltd., Houston. “Course and scope of his employment” is the legal phrase used to prove he was on the job at the time of the wreck.
David injured his neck and back. On Jan. 4, 2006, more than a year after the crash, he underwent a three-level cervical fusion and was later determined by the Social Security Administration to be totally disabled.
David hired our firm to sue Le, Momentum Air Ltd. and related entity Momentum Air Inc., alleging that Le was negligent in failing to keep a proper lookout and in failing to properly and timely apply his brakes and that Momentum was negligent in Le’s supervision and training. The lawsuit was filed in the 333rd District Court in Harris County.
David’s medical bills were $111,949.56. He claimed $47,925 in past lost wages for missing two years’ work, and between $241,374 and $263,699 for loss of future earning capacity because of his total disability. In addition, David sought $328,251 as the amount our economic expert calculated for loss of past and future household services.
The defendants alleged that David was contributorily negligent in that he backed his bus into Le’s bus. The defendants also alleged the accident was unavoidable due to the road being wet. These arguments were their way of trying to get a jury to not put all of the blame on their clients. If a jury put 50% or more of the blame on the plaintiff, David, the defendants wouldn’t have had to pay him.
The defendants alleged that David’s neck injury was a preexisting condition related to extensive disc degeneration. The defendants further alleged that the impact was minor and could not have caused the extensive injuries claimed by David. The defendants alleged that the medical bills were excessive, no further medical treatment was warranted, and David could return to work earning nearly the same wages as before the crash. Defendants also challenged the amount of damages David sought for loss of past and future household services.
Eleven days before trial, in November 2006, the case settled for $850,000.