Monday, 7 May, 2012
A woman, who sustained severe injuries to her neck and back after her car was hit by a Coca Cola delivery truck, has been awarded 24 million dollars in compensation for accident caused by driver on mobile phone.
Vanice Chatman-Wilson (37) of Corpus Christi, Texas, sustained the injuries in 2010 after her Ford Fusion was struck side on by the lorry driven by 30-year-old truck driver -Araceli Vanessa Cabral. Although Vanice underwent a lumbar operation in February 2011 for her injuries, doctors expect the nerve damage suffered in the accident to be permanent.
After seeking legal advice, Vanice made a claim for compensation against the company Araceli Vanessa Cabral was working for at the time of the accident – Coca Cola Enterprises – alleging that Cabral had been using her mobile phone at the time of the accident and was not paying due care and attention as a consequence.
Coca Cola claimed in their defence that they had a strict policy in respect of mobile phone use, and drivers were only allowed to use hands-free sets in their cabs. However, solicitors representing Vanice showed evidence that the policy was not enforced, and even brought Cabral to the stand to testify that she had never been informed of the risks of using a mobile phone when driving.
The jury at the hearing found in favour of Vanice and awarded her 24 million dollars in compensation for accident caused by driver on mobile phone – a message to Coca Cola and other large companies, according to Vanice´s solicitors, that they should introduce a no-mobile phone policy while operating a vehicle.