Car Crash Injures Former Marine Resulting In $50.1 Million Win
- August 14, 2010
- by John Uustal
A Plantation man’s truck was broadsided when returning home from work one night in July 1998 resulting in severe trauma and a year’s hospital stay. Marine veteran Frederick Wilson, 49, was working the night shift at CSX Railroad when Ronald Bottex hit him, throwing him out of the truck and into a Carol City intersection.
Wilson suffered a broken neck, collarbone and brain hemorrhage and is now a paraplegic. Bottex, 29, suffered brain damage and now lives on disability. Wilson filed suit against Bottex for negligence in June 1999. Wilson’s attorney John Uustal found evidence to prove that Bottex was driving recklessly and had possible impairment because for four hours leading up to the accident, Bottex couldn’t account for where he was. Defense attorney Frederick Pasternack argued that Wilson wasn’t cautious when he sped through a blinking yellow traffic light.
He tried to convince the jury that $5 million in damages would be enough to provide Wilson’s care for the rest of his life and that both lives were destroyed in the accident.
Witness Willie Jennings testified that Bottex ran a blinking red light and was driving without headlights in the dark, while the defense said there was no need for the lights because it was still light out. After a two-day trial and two hours of deliberation, Wilson and his family were awarded $50.1 million for economic losses, medical expenses, lost consortium, and pain and suffering. His wife received $3 million and six of his eight children received $1.5 million.
Although Bottex had auto insurance, Uustal said he intended to collect most of the money from any won settlements Bottex had. Bottex then filed a suit that is still pending against Honda Motors on the grounds that his airbag did not allegedly deploy. The judge has not made any final decisions yet.