Personal injury lawsuits happen every day in the US, but some cases have resulted in the most significant settlements you can imagine. If you’re hurt in an accident caused by another party, it’s smart to talk to a personal injury attorney for a free consultation today.
Below are some of the most significant settlements ever. Your potential settlement probably won’t be as big as these, but you never know!
$206 Billion - Tobacco Settlement
We all know these days that smoking kills you. But even 30 years ago, the horrible effects of smoking were still somewhat unknown. Part of the reason? The big tobacco companies did a great job covering them up.
That changed in 1998 when 46 US states joined forces against the Big 4 Tobacco Companies to recover the billions in costs for caring for smokers. The lawsuit also went after punitive damages for the companies’ misleading ads and questionable business practices.
Much of the US was on pins and needles waiting for the verdict: Would the jury go with the tobacco companies, who argued that smokers knew what they were doing to themselves? Or would it take the side of smokers and the states?
The jury had a big heart and punished the tobacco companies with a $206 billion judgment to be paid out over the next 25 years.
$150 Billion - Robert Middleton Family
In 1999, Robert Middleton, 8, was sexually assaulted, covered in gas, and lit on fire by Don Collins, 13. The little boy received horrible burns over 99% of his body. The story horrified the world. But the story had only begun.
In 2002, Middleton got skin cancer and died. His family blamed Collins, claiming the terrible burns caused his cancer. His defense attorney argued that Collins’ criminal act didn’t cause the man’s cancer. But the jury thought otherwise. He was sentenced like an adult and found liable in Middleton’s death.
$4.9 Billion - General Motors
A Chevy Malibu containing a family of six was struck by a drunk driver. The crash caused the fuel tank to rupture and explode. All six suffered terrible burns, including four children. The family sued GM, but the automaker fought the lawsuit.
The case went to court, and the family got $4.9 billion. GM appealed the verdict and got the settlement down to $1 billion.
$60 Million - Gas Station Manager
In 1999, a derailed train crashed into a gas station next to the tracks. The gas station manager was working in his office. While he survived, he suffered a significant brain injury. He received $46 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in interest.
$32 Million - Ford and Mazda
In 1997, a vehicle crashed into a man head-on. He had on his seatbelt, but instead of keeping him secure in the car, the seatbelt broke. He was ejected from the vehicle and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
The driver didn’t only sue the other driver; he also filed suit against Ford and Mazda for damages from the malfunctioning seat belt.
$27.5 Million - Bus Accident
In 2004, a woman was only three blocks from her New York City apartment when a city bus ran her over while turning right. The woman lost her left leg.
After seven painful weeks at trial, the jury awarded her $27 million in damages. Too bad it took four years for her to get justice.
When a person or entity injures you in an accident, you have the right to pursue damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Make sure you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to determine if you have a strong case.
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