Plaintiff receives reduced award in wrongful death trial

David Yates Sep. 16, 2009, 9:41am

Jefferson County jurors ended a recent trial with an award of $57,500 to the plaintiff, a modest amount for a wrongful death case and much less than the plaintiff was seeking.

Renee Hollier, who filed suit against Kevin Lavine and Meagan Osborne in August 2007 after her son was killed in a tractor-trailer collision, received the award Thursday, Sept. 10.

According to court documents, on June 27, 2007, Renee's son, Jordan Hollier, was a passenger in a vehicle being operated by Meagan Osborne.

The two were traveling along the Eastex Freeway when Lavine, who was allegedly speeding while driving a tractor trailer rig, collided with Osborne's vehicle.

Testimony and court records show that there was evidence that Osborne veered into Lavine's lane.

Conversely, during the trial, Osborne said Lavine had veered into her lane.

Either way, Jordan sustained a head injury, resulting in his death, leading jurors to find Osborne negligent and dish out a $57,500 verdict against her.

No damages were levied against Levine.

Judge Milton Shuffield, who presided over the trial, said the plaintiff was asking for "a lot more" than $57,500.

Hollier was awarded $2,500 for loss of companionship, $5,000 for her mental anguish, and $50,000 for any pain and mental anguish her son suffered prior to his death.

The trial got underway immediately after a thumbs-down from an appeals court.

The defendant and an intervener in the case had sought to add a last minute expert to the case, but the judge shot them down earlier this month.

With the trial slated to begin Sept. 8, the parties filed a mandamus review and a stay of proceedings request in the Ninth District of Appeals of Texas on Sept. 3.

The following day, justices denied their petition, booting the case back down to Shuffield's court.

Hollier was represented by attorney Anthony Malley III of the Moore Landrey law firm.

Case No. D179-822

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