Jury awards $100K to plaintiff in auto wreck trial

David Yates Apr. 23, 2008, 8:29am

Mark Sparks

Provost Umphrey attorney Mark Sparks landed a $100,000 verdict for his client on Wednesday, April 23, as the automobile collision trial of Joni Cooke vs. Allco Ltd. et al concluded.

On July 20, 2006, Cooke filed suit against Allco and one of its truck drivers, Richard Wagnon, who she claimed negligently caused a car wreck in Jefferson County earlier that year – leaving her severely injured and permanently impaired.

Jurors sided with Cooke's argument that Wagnon failed to keep a proper lookout and yield the right-of-way, and awarded her $90,000 in past and future medical expenses, plus $10,000 for her physical impairment.

The trial began on Monday, April 21 in Judge Bob Wortham's 58th District Court.

Allco and Wagnon were represented by the Law Offices of Karl R. Schneider.

In the original lawsuit, it stated that "At all times, Allco (was) the owners of the vehicle operated by Wagnon. Wagnon operated said vehicle with knowledge and permission of Allco and … he was acting in the course and scope of his employment with Allco."

Cooke's suit went on to allege Wagnon was "incompetent and unfit to safely operate" a vehicle, "due to his recklessness and … mental incapacity."

Case No. E177-535

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