Fayette County jury returns first plaintiff verdict on record; Tractor trailer driver awarded $12.2 million following collision

According to plaintiff’s counsel, a Fayette County jury returned the first plaintiff verdict on record in their county when they awarded a tractor trailer driver $12.2 million following a 2018 crash on I-70 that caused the plaintiff to suffer back injuries.

Jurors awarded plaintiff Jeremy Dutton $12,208,790.53 on April 26 for past and future loss of a normal life, past and future pain and suffering, past and future emotional distress, increased risk of future harm, disfigurement, past and future medical expenses, and lost earnings. Judge Martin Seimer presided over the four-day trial.

Dutton was represented at trial by attorneys Brian L. Salvi, Rob L. Kohen, and Emily T. Art of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

Defendant Foltz Welding LTD was represented at trial by attorney James A Borland of Quinn Johnston.

“Despite going through all of the appropriate recovery measures over the course of more than five years, Jeremy still experiences neuropathic pain every single day,” Salvi said. “Jeremy lived a restriction-free life prior to this crash. He loved being a truck driver and loved spending time outdoors with his family. This collision and his resulting injuries have uprooted everything he enjoyed about his life.”

According to the complaint, Dutton was struck by a pickup truck owned and operated by Foltz Welding on July 30, 2018. The driver of the pickup truck allegedly crashed into Dutton’s truck while driving at about 30 miles per hour.

Dutton was completing a route to Ohio at the time of the collision. He claims he was in pain but declined medical treatment at the scene and went on to complete his route before returning home.

Ten days after the collision, Dutton went to an urgent care facility with complaints of headaches and neck and lower back pain. He was provided medication and instructed to seek additional treatment if his symptoms worsened. Six days later, Dutton returned to the urgent care facility with neurological symptoms in his arms.

Dutton underwent an MRI in October 2018, which showed a cervical syrinx in the C4/C5 area of his spine. Then in April 2019, Dutton underwent a syrinx fenestration procedure as well as a C5-C6 fusion and C4-C5 laminectomy and decompression.

Foltz Welding admitted negligence for the collision, but it denied causation for the syrinx and resulting injuries. The defendant argued that the impact was insignificant and Dutton delayed in receiving treatment.

“The defense was insistent that this was a ‘conservative county’ that wouldn’t award a big verdict. We had confidence that the jury would recognize the facts and extent of loss experienced by Jeremy,” Salvi said following the verdict.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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