BEAUMONT – More than three months have elapsed since a jury awarded a pair of Georgia residents $17,000 in damages for injuries they received in an automobile collision – yet, as of Nov. 12, no final judgment has been entered.
Seeking more than $1 million in damages, plaintiffs Oswald Brown and Melbert Christie filed suit against Trans Lease Inc. Justin Wade Potter last March in Jefferson County District Court.
According to an amended petition, on Oct. 11, 2017, Potter was driving a large box truck on behalf of Matco Tools, under the authorization of both Macto Tools and Trans Lease, when he failed to control his speed and crashed into a vehicle in front of him, causing that vehicle to crash into the plaintiffs’ vehicle.
The impact caused injuries to the plaintiffs’ necks and backs.
The case was called up for trial in late July and ended with jurors finding Matco Tools 25 percent responsible for causing the collision and Potter 75 percent responsible, according to the charge of the court, which was filed on July 25.
On Nov. 6, Trans Lease and Potter filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice, arguing that more than three months have passed and yet the plaintiffs have “wholly failed” to submit a final judgment on the jury’s verdict.
“The Plaintiffs’ failure to pursue a final judgment within a reasonable period of thirty days should result in dispositive action to conclude this matter,” the motion states. “As the Plaintiffs have permitted more than 100 days to pass without pursuing their judgment, a dismissal of the action and all claims against defendants should be granted.”
A hearing on the matter was held on Nov. 12.
Judge Baylor Wortham, 136th District Court, gave the plaintiffs a 10-day grace period to file a final judgment, according to a courthouse official.
Following the trial, the jury awarded Brown $2,760.68 for his past medical expenses, $2,100 for past loss of earning capacity, $1,000 for past mental anguish and $200 for past impairment.
No damages were awarded for Brown’s future medical expenses, future loss of earning capacity, future mental anguish or future impairment.
Christie was awarded $7,693.68 for past medical expenses, $2,100 for past loss of earning capacity, $1,000 for past mental anguish and $200 for past impairment.
Like Brown, no damages were awarded for Christie’s future medical expenses, future loss of earning capacity, future mental anguish or future impairment.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Arnold & Itkin law firm in Houston.
The defendants are represented by Pam Rea and Todd Hermes, attorneys for the Houston law firm of Susan L. Florence & Associates.
Case No. D-201509