A Polk County jury deliberated just three hours before handing down a $45 million verdict in a wrongful death and survivorship case stemming from a road rage fueled collision in May 2010.
On May 11, 2010, 30-year-old Amy Suzanne Krupp and her son, 10-year-old Aaron Orr, were driving south on U.S. Route 98 in Lakeland, Florida, when they were struck head-on by a pickup-truck that crossed the median from the oncoming lane. Krupp sustained fatal injuries and died ten days later. Orr sustained a traumatic brain injury, which left him unable to speak and confined to a wheelchair, dependent upon 24-hour care.
Defendant, Joshua Moore, the driver of the pick-up truck, had careened out of control after engaging in a high-speed battle with Richard Waters, the driver of another pick-up truck who had allegedly cut him off. Just before the collision, Defendant had attempted to overtake the other pick-up truck from the inside lane at a high-rate of speed. As he attempted to do so, Waters moved from the outside lane towards Moore, striking Moore’s vehicle, which caused Moore to lose control. Waters left the scene, but a witness was able to take down his license plate. He was later arrested, convicted of vehicular homicide and reckless driving and convicted to 22 years in prison.
Plaintiffs, Krupp’s husband and Orr’s father, sued Moore for vehicular negligence. Defendant argued that Waters was solely responsible for the collision and that it was Waters’ aggressive and reckless driving, not Moore’s, that led to the tragic collision. Defense counsel argued that Moore was lawfully in his lane of travel when Water’s vehicle struck Moore’s, causing Moore to lose control.
The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiffs, but found Moore only 10% negligent and Waters 90% negligent. The total award was $45,375,948, but was reduced to $4,537,595.
VENUE: Polk County
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