Personal injury verdict reported as largest in Grayson County history
SHERMAN, Texas – Accomplished Texas personal injury attorney Jason B. Stephens of Fort Worth-based Stephens Law won a $15.6 million wrongful death verdict for the family of a plumber who was killed when a metal flagpole he was attempting to move touched an overhead electric line.
Mr. Stephens represented the family of Kiley Russell in the three-day trial heard in the 59th District Court in Sherman, Texas. Jurors deliberated for one day before returning the verdict against Dallas-based Monticello Asset Management Inc., which operates the River Ranch Apartments in Sherman.
The award included $10.5 million for Mr. Russell’s widow and two minor sons based solely on their past and future loss of companionship and mental anguish. The jury also awarded approximately $5.1 million to two of Mr. Russell’s coworkers who were severely injured in the same incident. They were represented by attorneys Bill Kennedy and Joan Ballard of Bill Kennedy Law in Denison, Texas. According to VerdictSearch, the jury’s verdict is the largest ever for a personal injury case in Grayson County.
During the trial, Mr. Stephens presented evidence that Mr. Russell and the other two workers were replacing a water main at the River Ranch apartment complex when a flagpole they were attempting to move touched an overhead power line. The resulting blast killed Mr. Russell and severely injured the other two workers.
Even though the apartment complex owners had directed the flagpole to be installed next to the overhead power lines and next to the water main, they claimed that the three workers and their employer were responsible for what happened. After Mr. Stephens presented evidence that the owners had previously moved the same flagpole and another one nearby, the jury instead assessed 50 percent responsibility against Monticello Asset Management.
“Juries don’t like it when companies take shortcuts and put profits over safety, which is exactly what we saw in this case,” says Mr. Stephens. “As a result, two little boys lost their daddy, and their mom lost the love of her life. Hopefully, this verdict will help ensure that Kiley is remembered in the hearts of all those who knew him and whose lives he touched.”
The case is Jackson Wells, et al. v. Monticello Asset Management Inc., No. CV-18-0027, 59th District Court, Grayson County, Texas.
For more than two decades, experienced Fort Worth attorney Jason Stephens and Stephens Law have represented people from all walks of life in serious personal injury cases, wrongful death claims, and truck accidents involving significant injuries. Mr. Stephens is known as a caring, compassionate and relentless advocate for his clients in every case he handles. To learn more about the firm and how they may be able to help you, visit www.stephenslaw.com.