BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Jefferson County Circuit Court jury returned a verdict on Thursday, November 7th, 2019, awarding $18,000,000.00 in damages to U.S. Army and Afghanistan combat veteran, Zachary Lucas, who suffered a catastrophic brain injury when he was struck on I-22 by a van driven by Michael Cannon. Mr. Cannon was insured by Progressive Insurance Company.
The case was tried for four days by Brandon Bishop and Andrew Moak of Schuerger Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C.
“We are extremely proud of our stellar legal team that worked to obtain the recent verdict on behalf of our client, Zachary Lucas. At Schuerger Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys, we will fight to bring our clients the justice deserved,” states Schuerger Shunnarah. “The 7th Amendment provides the right of trial by jury and we are proud to execute this right on behalf of our deserving clients.”
At approximately 10:00 P.M. on November 16, 2015, Mr. Lucas’ motorcycle ran out of gas, and he pulled it to the shoulder of the highway. The location of the crash was the main issue in the case. Mr. Lucas’ attorneys argued that Cannon struck him while inspecting the motorcycle on the shoulder of the road, and Mr. Lucas offered expert testimony and physical evidence to the jury that proved that the impact occurred on the shoulder of the road.
Mr. Lucas’ injuries were serious and life-threatening. Although he wore a helmet at the time of the crash, Mr. Lucas suffered a fractured skull and brain hemorrhages that left him with serious and permanent physical and mental deficits. With several members of his family on hand in the courtroom gallery, Mr. Lucas offered dramatic and compelling testimony to the jury about his injuries and their effect on his life.
Attorney Brandon Bishop states, “We gave Progressive Insurance Company a full opportunity to settle Zac’s case before we filed a lawsuit against its insured, Michael Cannon. Instead, Progressive chose to offer Zac $12,500.00 and sent the message that if he did not accept it, the insurance company would take the case to trial. Clearly, the jury agreed with Zac and we are glad that they did.”
Attorney Andrew Moak states, “Nobody deserved this verdict more than Zac Lucas, whose injuries are as devastating to him and to his family as anything we have ever seen. Zac will hopefully now be able to finally get the help that he badly needs.”
The jury deliberated for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes before returning the unanimous verdict for $18,000,000.00, finding that Michael Cannon was responsible for Zac Lucas’ medical bills, his permanent injuries and the physical pain and suffering and mental anguish that were consequences of his injuries.