Naman Howell Secures Defense Victory in First Northern District of Texas Civil Jury Trial in the Post COVID Era
DALLAS, Texas (March 25, 2021) – Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee, PLLC secured a complete defense verdict in the first in-person civil jury trial to be held in over one year in the Northern District of Texas (Dallas Division) on March 10, 2021.
The trial, based on alleged personal injuries from a 2018 motor vehicle accident, commenced March 8, 2021 in the Dallas Federal Courthouse in front of the Honorable Judge Jane Boyle and a jury of seven. The trial team of Jordan Mayfield, Larry Warren, and Jacqueline Altman secured a significant victory for their clients, a nationwide trucking company and its driver. The jury deliberated less than one hour before returning a verdict that neither the company nor its driver was at fault for the accident. Not only were Naman Howell’s clients cleared of all liability, but the jury found that the Plaintiff herself was negligent and caused the accident.
The Defendants were brought to court after a motor vehicle accident that occurred in 2018 in a construction zone on I-45 in Corsicana, Texas. Five months after the accident, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit seeking over $1 million in damages, claiming that both the company and its driver were negligent. During the course of litigation, the defense team discovered that Plaintiff filed this lawsuit before incurring any medical bills for her alleged injuries. It was not until after the lawsuit was filed that Plaintiff first saw doctors who claimed she needed two major surgeries and lifelong care. By the time of trial, Plaintiff was claiming over $700,000 in past and future medical treatment.
Plaintiff was represented by Arnold & Itkin, a well-known Houston-based Plaintiff’s firm. Adam Lewis, Plaintiff’s counsel, utilized a common tactic in his opening statement: focusing on the trucking company and general safety rules. Following this, Jordan Mayfield’s opening statement drew from the Court’s instructions: the jury’s job is to evaluate the evidence—not the attorneys’ arguments—and credible evidence is consistent evidence.
When Plaintiff rested her case-in-chief, the defense team achieved another victory when District Judge Jane Boyle granted Defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law and dismissed Plaintiff’s claims of gross negligence. In closing arguments, Larry Warren brought the evidence full circle, listing the relevant facts that were supported by consistent and credible evidence. Despite Plaintiff’s best efforts to craft a story of a truck driver swerving into her lane at a high rate of speed, Plaintiff could not overcome the consistent and credible facts. Based on the evidence, the jury found that neither the company nor its driver were negligent. The jury went even further and determined that the evidence showed that it was Plaintiff’s own negligence that caused the accident in question.
The case is Hanan v. Crete Carrier Corp., et al., case number 3:19-cv-149, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.