Lawrence Cooks v. Dwight E. Choate; 2012 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 2403

      On April 1, 2009, plaintiff Lawrence Cooks, 38, a truck driver and rodeo competitor, was stopped at the intersection of FM 1462 and County. Road 48 nesr Rosharon when he was involved in a chain reaction collision with a car driven by Dwight Choate and a third vehicle. Cooks claimed back injuries. The driver and a passenger of the third vehicle were airlifted to the hospital. Cooks sued Choate, claiming he failed to keep a proper lookout or control his speed and struck the rear of the third vehicle at approximately 80 mph, pushing it into the rear of his vehicle. Choate admitted fault for the collision during his trial testimony.

      Cooks claimed the collision aggravated a preexisting herniation at C3-4, causing him to develop new herniations at C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7. He received emergency room treatment the day of the collision and three months of chiropractic treatment, which ended when he was sentenced to two years in prison in 2009. He claimed that he will require continued pain management and multiple-level fusion surgery. He claimed his injuries prevent him from taking part in rodeo competitions, playing with his children and other everyday activities. He sought $9,573.50 for past medical expenses and an unspecified amount for future medical expenses and past and future pain and suffering and physical impairment.

     The defense argued that Cooks' injuries were not as severe as claimed.

(Lawrence Cooks)
   $9,574 Personal Injury: Past Medical Cost
   $150,000 Personal Injury: Future Medical Cost
   $1,000 Personal Injury: Past Physical Impairment
   $10,000 Personal Injury: Future Physical Impairment
   $2,500 Personal Injury: Past Pain And Suffering
   $25,000 Personal Injury: Future Pain And Suffering

TOTAL VERDICT: $198,074.00