Jonathan Cox, suing by his father and next friend Michael Cox v. John Vanderwilt
Type of action: Personal Injury with intoxicated defendant
Court: Norfolk Circuit Court
Attorneys for plaintiff: George T. Albiston, O. L. Gilbert, and Lawrence K. Land, Norfolk
Plaintiff was a pedestrian who was standing on the sidewalk outside of his place of employment approximately 15 minutes before his shift was to start. He was discussing the daily specials, etc., with working employees, through an open door area. Defendant was operating his vehicle at a blood alcohol level in excess of .16. When defendant came around the corner, he drove his vehicle up onto the sidewalk, striking the plaintiff and throwing him head first into a vehicle that was parked nearby.
Plaintiff suffered a diffuse axonal injury, which is a form of traumatic brain injury; fractured C-4 vertebrae; two tracheotomies; nose reconstruction; neurological tremors; urinary problems; erectile dysfunction; memory loss; and problems with walking and stability. He was initially hospitalized in Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, and then flown to Shepherd Center in Atlanta for more intense care and rehabilitation. Plaintiff underwent physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as hyperbaric chamber therapy.
In addition to the settlement from the liability carrier, plaintiff’s counsel also participated in settlement negotiations with the workers’ compensation carrier, resulting in a recovery of $450,000 for the plaintiff with waiver of any and all workers’ compensation liens. The total amount of recovery for the plaintiff was $2,275,000.