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Michigan Car Accident Lawyer Gets Largest Settlement and Second Best Verdict in State

January 15, 2009 by Steven M. Gursten

The auto accident lawyers of Michigan Auto Law are proud to announce that partner Steven M. Gursten has gotten the largest settlement and the second highest verdict in the entire state of Michigan for 2008, according to a year-end report by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

In addition to achieving some of the highest car and truck accident settlements each year for injury victims in Michigan, Steve Gursten has received the largest jury verdict for four of the past seven years

Said Lawyers Weekly about Gursten’s successful record in 2005: “…considering the fact that there are approximately 4,000 Michigan attorneys who say they handle personal injury cases as part of their practice, the odds of accomplishing this feat are astronomical.”

Additionally, Michigan Auto Law garnered the ninth biggest settlement in Michigan last year. Here are our personal injury lawyers’ top 2008 verdicts and settlements for car accident and truck accident cases:

No. 1 Michigan Settlement: $3.9 Million

Estate of Patrick G. Nunez v. Utica Transit Mix and Supply, Co. Inc. and Charles L. Dreyer
Plaintiff Patrick Nunez was traveling in the fast lane on I-75 in Detroit, Michigan when a trucker driving a fully-loaded, 150,000 pound gravel truck lost control and collided with Nunez’ car. The car was smashed against the highway retainer wall, where it burst into flames, killing Nunez.

The truck lost control when its front-steer tire blew. But trucks are not supposed to dangerously lose control when they experience a tire blow-out, which is a foreseeable and common event. The defendant lost control because his truck was in defective and dangerous out-of-service mechanical condition. The driver admitted in a deposition that he had received no formal training or supervision from his employer. He also said he failed to inspect the truck’s tires and brakes. Furthermore, he had a seizure disorder and was on powerful epilepsy medication that causes drowsiness and delayed reaction time.

No. 9 Michigan Settlement: $1.6 Million

Weller, et al., v. J.T. Express, et al.
The plaintiff truck driver was rear-ended by another semi-trailer truck at an intersection in Romeo, Michigan. He was treated for neck and back complaints in the emergency room and had physical therapy.

Seven weeks later, the plaintiff noticed weakness and numbness in his left arm and leg. A discectomy with fusion was performed after a disc was found to be compressing the spinal cord. His left-sided weaknesses never diminished, and symptoms were stroke-like. The man had suffered a stroke nearly six years before the accident, but he recovered completely.

Through case facilitation, the $1.6 million settlement was reached.

No. 2 Michigan Verdict: $5.65 Million

Broeren, et al., v. Bates
Plaintiff Anthony Broeren was seriously injured after a friend accidentally ran him over with a Dodge Ram pickup truck and propelled him head-first into a log cabin. Doctors say Broeren — who suffered crushing injuries to his leg that have required many surgeries and a traumatic brain injury for starters — will never be able to return to competitive employment. He also suffers tinnitus, vertigo, side effects from various pain pills and weight gain. Prior to the accident, he was an engineer.

Broeren sued Roy Bates II. Chrysler owned the pickup truck, and Bates was employed with Chrysler when he accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the brake and struck Broeren during a group hunting trip in Evart, Michigan. Although the verdict was issued against Bates because Chrysler had been removed as a named defendant in the case, Chrysler remains financially responsible for the award.

The jury deliberated for three hours before deciding to allot $5.65 million, broken down into $2.75 million for non-economic damages, $1.88 million for economic damages and $1.02 million for loss of consortium.

Michigan Personal Injury Attorneys Protecting Accident Victims

The personal injury lawyers of Michigan Auto Law have been successfully protecting accident victims for more than 50 years. Our law firm is the largest in Michigan that practices exclusively in car and truck accidents. We have law offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights.

Our greatest satisfaction is obtaining justice for our clients who have been seriously injured or killed in auto accidents, and have been wronged by insurance companies. We realize that lawyers must bring lawsuits to obtain justice for these people, because it’s only the threat of litigation that will force some insurance companies, large trucking companies and corporations to do the right thing.

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