SE Texas Record

Monday, July 8, 2019

Ferguson Law recovers $27.7M verdict in UPS 18-wheeler crash, case tried in Jefferson County

By David Yates | Jul 8, 2019

BEAUMONT – Two Southeast Texas men represented by Beaumont’s Ferguson Law Firm have been awarded more than $27 million as a result of injuries they each sustained as a result of a crash with an UPS 18-wheeler. 

Allen Norris, a 58-year old pipefitter from Vidor, sustained spinal injuries resulting in fusion of both his cervical and lumbar spine. He was awarded $20 million. 

Fabian Williams, a 47-year old scaffold builder from Port Arthur, injured his neck and, some 10 months post-accident, underwent surgery to his cervical spine. He was awarded $7 million.

Both men were represented by managing partner Paul ‘Chip’ Ferguson along with Larry C. Hunter and Jon Healy of Beaumont’s Packard LaPray. 

The verdict was handed down following a two-week trial in Jefferson County’s 58th District Court.  Judge Kent Walston entered judgment of $27,743,746.84 on June 23.

The crash occurred on March 1, 2018 near Vinton, Louisiana. The plaintiffs were stopped in traffic due to an earlier accident on Interstate 10 when an UPS 18-wheeler slammed into the rear of a pickup being driven by Norris and then struck an SUV driven by Williams.  Norris was life flighted to Beaumont’s Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital and Norris was taken by ground ambulance to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. 

Complete fault for the crash was placed on UPS’s 18-wheeler.

“Our evidence established beyond debate that blame for this accident fell entirely on the 18-wheeler,” Ferguson said. “It plowed into Mr. Norris’ vehicle at nearly 70 mph before ever hitting his brakes. His pickup was slung more than 200 feet off the highway. The 18-wheeler then slammed into Mr. Williams’ vehicle and knocked it completely off I-10 and onto the feeder road.” 

The award provided $19,615,209.27 for Norris, $1,066,614.68 to his wife, Delores, and $7,061,922.89 to Fabian Williams. 

 “It was a tremendous result for Larry and me,” Ferguson said. “We worked the file, got it to trial in just over one year and got a great outcome. We got a great trial and had great clients. Jon Healy’s help was immeasurable. 

 “But the real heroes were our staff. The work done by Ashlie and Melissa and Ella was A-plus, and I have never had support like this. There was never a complaint and their energy was tremendous. Their dedication to the cause of our clients was remarkable.”

This was yet another result in a long string of multi-million results for Ferguson and the Ferguson Law Firm.  In May alone, the firm obtained a $46.5 million settlement followed by the verdict here. 

“It was a very good month for us,” Ferguson said. “But, it was a better month for our clients.  That’s why we do what we do. For them. It drives everything we do.”

The Ferguson Law Firm continues to practice from its office in Beaumont, Texas and sustains its mission to provide the best representation and the best results “one client at a time,” says Ferguson.

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Organizations in this Story

Jefferson County District Court Packard Lapray The Ferguson Law Firm LLP