Injured motorist dealt a $44K verdict in rear-end collision trial

David Yates May 20, 2010, 5:30am

A Jefferson County jury has awarded a motorist $44,291.20 for injures she sustained in an automobile collision six years ago.

In December 2005, Debra Beckett filed suit against Cynthia Purkey and Jody Shepherd, alleging the two defendants were responsible for the injuries she suffered after Purkey rear-ended her vehicle.

After a two day trial beginning May 17, jurors found that Purkey negligently caused the wreck, and awarded Beckett $23,000 for her past mental anguish and pain, $8,000 for past impairment, $7,656 for lost wages and $5,135.20 for past medical expenses.

Court documents show that on Jan. 21, 2004, Beckett was traveling on Interstate 10 and preparing to exit onto a service road when she was forced stop for backed up traffic.

"Plaintiff stopped for traffic and (Purkey) rear-ended her vehicle, causing a collision," Beckett's suit states.

She claims that through no negligence of her own she suffered severe and permanent injuries.

Shepherd, owner of the car that struck Beckett, was accused of negligently entrusting her vehicle to Purkey.

Beckett was represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Michael Nacol.

The defendants were represented by Beaumont attorney Karen Spivey.

Jefferson County Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, presided over the trial.

Case No. E176-176

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