Jurors find J.C. not responsible for deputy's auto collision

David Yates Sep. 9, 2011, 1:54am

A jury recently found in favor of Jefferson County in litigation brought by Raymond Lauda, who claims he was seriously injured after a speeding sheriff's patrol unit lost control and struck his vehicle.

As previously reported, Lauda, a Galveston County resident, filed a complaint against the county on Oct. 8, 2009, in Jefferson County District Court.

The case went to trial on Sept. 6 and ended the following day.

According to the charge of the court, jurors were asked if any negligence on the county's part caused the collision.

All 12 jurors agreed that the county was not negligent.

Court records show Lauda was driving in the center lane of Interstate 10 in Beaumont near Walden Road on Nov. 4, 2008, when Deputy Zena Stephens, driving a Jefferson County sheriff's patrol unit at a high rate of speed, struck him after she lost control of her vehicle and went into a spin.

According to the lawsuit, Stephens received a traffic citation for the collision for failure to control speed.

Lauda claims he suffered serious personal injuries in the collision and incurred medical costs, experienced physical pain, suffering, physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish and loss of earnings.

Christopher D. Bertini of Bertini and Associates in Galveston represents Lauda.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Rugg represents the county.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, presided over the trial.

Case No. A185-092

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