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Federal Judge Awards Accident Victim $2.25 Million

Federal Judge Awards Accident Victim $2.25 Million

For 30-year-old Mike Tewkesbury, it was a life-changing day. He was in his “dream job” at Northrop Grumman Corporation in St. Augustine, working as an aircraft mechanic. While on his way to pick up his daughters at a day care center, his car was t-boned by a vehicle driven by a U.S Army Recruiter. Traveling northbound, the recruiter made a left turn at a traffic signal-controlled intersection just as Mike’s vehicle, which had the right-of-way, was crossing through the intersection from the other direction. It happened so suddenly and unexpectedly that Mike had no chance to stop or avoid being hit. Although his totaled vehicle had been rammed on the driver’s side, he was wearing a seat belt and appeared to escape with only minor cuts and bruises. He counted himself lucky – then. By the following morning Mike Tewkesbury was in excruciating back pain. Over the next three months Mike sought medical treatment, including physical therapy and was given “mountains” of medication, including a phentenol patch. He was diagnosed with muscle strain and ligament strain; a MRI showed a bulging disc in his lower back. It was determined that he had suffered a herniated disc and a “microshave” was performed in that area to give him relief. His back was reconstructed with rods and screws. This procedure relieved some pressure, but ultimately a morphine pump that has to be replaced every five years was installed into his abdomen. The pain and need for frequent medical treatment forced Mike to resign from his position. The Army Recruiter who hit Mike denied responsibility for the accident, claiming that Mike had run a red light and produced a fellow Army Officer to back up his claim. It was at this point
that Mike brought his case to Steve Browning. During his investigation, Steve discovered that the Army’s internal investigation of the accident found the recruiting officer at fault for the collision. Steve learned that he had been charged $3000 for repairs to the Army vehicle. The case was heard in a four-day bench trial by a U. S. District Court Judge. Ultimately, Federal Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger ruled in favor of Mike Tewkesbury and awarded him a total of $2.25 million.

Attorneys Involved: