2.22.2010

Breaking: Jackie Murphree Verdict

$24 million in total damages Percentages of fault:
  • Drunk Driver: 70%
  • Austin Bridge: 0%
  • Site Concrete: 15%
  • TxDot: 15%
It is my understanding (but for reason I don't readily understand) there will be no recovery from TxDot. The final outcome, unofficially, is that Site Concrete is responsible for its 15% (assuming the verdict holds up on appeal.) The intoxicated driver certainly isn't a factor in the verdict. If she had insurance, it probably wasn't much. The only folks with money were Site Concrete and Austin Bridge. That's really what the trial was about. Edit: Channel 8 coverage of verdict

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jackie~~ We all love you and you are still in my prayers!!!

RPM said...

I always heard you can't sue the state. They're immune regardless of fault. Why include them in the suit?

Anonymous said...

I some how doubt this is worth the time spent. The driver I am assuming does not have 24 million to pay the Murphree's. Her insurance company if she has insurance....do that have to pay civil damages? It is rewarding in that she is rightfully blamed but how does that pay Jackies medical bills?

Anonymous said...

Did other drivers have a problem realizing the area was in construction, or just the drunk one?

Anonymous said...

7:54, you put apostrophes were they aren't needed, and then leave them out where they are. Somehow is one word. Do "that" have to pay civil damages? 6:37, what is the prayer? How exactly do we want God to get involved at this point?

Anonymous said...

Ok, so what is the bottom line for damages that WILL be received? It's fine for the courts to find fault and damages, but what is it that will MAKE those responsible pay and when is the money to come to the Murphrees?

Anonymous said...

24 million is no where near enough for the productive life of a beautiful young woman.

Anonymous said...

Correction, Barry. The only folks with money were Austin Bridge. Site Concrete is in bankruptcy. And the drunk driver's insurance company had already tendered their full policy limits. So I'm afraid this looks like a Pyrhhic victory for Jackie's family and their attorneys. (And yes Barry, I know you'll have to look up "Pyrhhic victory. But that will be good for you.)

Anonymous said...

Why don't we name 380 after Jackie.It would serve as a reminder to everyone what a mess the highway and D O t really are.DAGO

Rov said...

8:49, you ARE an idiot!!!!

Anonymous said...

let me get this straight.... three years in the making, lots of huffing and puffing, emotion, grandstanding, courtroom drama, 16 acres of south american rainforest cut down to supply all the paper pushed back and forth from one law firm then back again. In the end, everybody pays and the only people that walk away with money are lawyers. Damn, I didn't see that coming. Nobody could have ever predicted this outcome.

Anonymous said...

15% of $24 million. That's 3.6 million the bankrupt concrete company owes. Do the lawyers get their 30% of nothing? What an unfortunate event followed by unfortunate results.

Anonymous said...

it is horrible txdot did not do their job making sure that the proper traffic control was being used and by admission of an employee of site concrete there was no formal training for them on this matter. yet they only got 15% each txdot immune and if i am not mistaken site concrete is bankrupt but this was filed before this judgement so they may be stuck for the 3.5 million but you can bet that some pencil neck attorney will work hard and get them out of that. on to monroe i see her wondering the flea market at bowie and she acts as if she has never done anything wrong and we all know that she has no money so there will be none from her. a vibrant young lady had her life taken from her due to the actions of another and a company trying to cut corners to save a buck i hope that jackie is able to use what she is able to get to help with her treatments

Anonymous said...

6:52 Because obviously it is not always about the money.

Anonymous said...

"...discretionary immunity. Like its federal couterpart, the immunity is often extended to cases that do not seem to involve basic policy or discretion at all, for example, to cases of negligently designed public works such as highways..." Prosser and Keeton on Torts, 5th Ed., p. 1046.

Anonymous said...

11:20pm...they went to court so the lawyers probably got 50%.

Anonymous said...

30% of the blame goes to concrete and highway builders? Did 30% of drivers have accidents as they moved through that area? 30 wrecks for every 100 vehicles passing by? If 30% of the wreck had NOTHING to do with someone being drunk, then isn't this result clearly indicating that due to concrete and the State, we should have had maybe 300, 3,000, 30,000 wrecks in that spot over a period of time? And yet, just the one at issue. So at the exact moment a drunk person was coming along, the State and the concrete people somehow got involved and helped create the wreck. OK. Sure.

Anonymous said...

"Did other drivers have a problem realizing the area was in construction, or just the drunk one?"

Yes, it was terribly problematic. Cars got misdirected all the time. There were minor accidents with signs getting skidded over often. The Murphrees actually reported this to TXDOT before the wreck and tried to work with the companies involved on the issue.

Anonymous said...

Many comments express shock and dismay at a verdict they know little about, based on opinions they've either had for a long time about the court system in general or formed from reading blurbs like this blog. Let's give the benefit of the doubt to the 12 Wise County jurors who listened to the evidence for over two weeks and arrived at a verdict with the guidance of an experienced trial judge and good lawyers on both sides.

This was a tragic case. Every commenter who decries the tort system would be the first in line at a lawyer's door if this tragedy happened in their family. Think about that next time you're inclined to cast a stone at lawyers.

Anonymous said...

The money received in the end will be negligible once appeals are done and attorneys are paid. The lawsuit was stupid in the first place, in my opinion. Certainly 70% of the money won't get paid because the poor woman to hit her doesn't have it. So...bottom line...lots of publicity and grandstanding and sympathy-seeking for nothing.

As for God's involvement, just whose side do you think He's on,
6:37??? I believe He loves everyone, not just Jackie. He loves the driver, the concrete guys, the state guys...everyone. I don't believe God takes sides when we choose to sue each other. My Bible says NOT to sue...ever. Read it, all you praying fools who think God only takes YOUR side in things!

mzchief said...

To anonymous 9:08...
Surely you meant, Pyrrhic victory, rather than 'Pyrhhic victory,' which you misspelled, twice, in your comment.

Nice attempt, irrespective of your errors.

The only reason I pointed out your errors was due to you being such a smug git.

To anonymous 8:49...
How is that job of Internet Grammar Nazi working out for you?

Feel free to wield your grammar pen on my comments because in the REAL world, none of this Internet nonsense really matters.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong(I'm sure someone will), but something tells me fate had some part in this accident. The "what if" possibilities are endless. What if the victim had been a little earlier or later leaving home? What if the drunk had stopped to visit an old friend? Their fates would have put them at another place & time at that exact moment!
Can we place some of the blame on "fate"? Never mind this just gives me tired head. Think I"ll go back to bed.

Anonymous said...

They were going after Austin Bridge & Stone. The only ones with money. It wouldn't matter if they were awarded 500 million you can't replace a productive life.

Anonymous said...

9:08 to MzChief:

Touchhe.

Anonymous said...

9:13 There have been many more deaths on that highway. How could you make such a stupid recommendation and discount all the other lives affected on 380? What a selfish and short-sighted comment.!

Anonymous said...

8:22 I totally agree. You could also call "fate" "God". I believe God allowed this to happen; He could have prevented it if He'd wanted to, so all those who pray for their own little selfish outcomes might want to consider that God already acted. Now the chips just have to fall where they may and everyone live with the outcome of God's or fate's actions. it's ridiculous to blame this woman solely when God could have prevented it if He'd wanted to do so. He's either omnipotent or not. If you believe He is, then you have to also believe He can prevent bad stuff from occurring and for some reason unbeknownst to us, chooses not to. That's my belief...He allowed this for a reason...His had was in it from the accident and His hands still in the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Those at fault need to provide for Jackie's care and no more. No need to make the family millionaires.

Anonymous said...

Jackie- we love you and are still praying for you everyday!!! Expect Miracles!!! God is GREAT!

Danny Boy said...

How many times have you been driving behind someone and said to yourself "I bet they're drunk?" And what did you do? Go home and to bed and let someone else deal with it? I am guilty of this also, but I have also called 911 and reported and followed a few and watched them fail the sobriety test and go to the back seat of the flashy light cars.

We are a suit happy society and will continue as long as the courts and lawyers allow. Not to make light of the terrible tragedy to Ms. Murphee, but are the wrong way drivers on the tollway (still don't understand how that happens) going to take the construction comapny and state to court for not properly securing exit ramps from people entering them the wrong way?

Anonymous said...

Mzchief: You're a TARD no matter what.

I hope I spelled everything ok.

Anonymous said...

9:08
Your beliefs of a predetermined destiny are quite concerning. It's an antiquated view that would absolve anyone of blame. How could there be a heaven or hell if people are simply acting under the control of God. There would be no " letting the chips fall where they may" because where they land would already be determined. If I ask forgiveness for a sin, am I really asking forgiveness on God's behalf?
Just because God is omnipotent does not mean he controls us. Maybe His power is used to give us mere mortals the ability to think and act on our own accord.

Mr. Mike Honcho said...

9:26am...

No way you get money out of the Murphree woman. Or the State. So you are left with hoping for the leavings of the bankruptcy of Site Concrete. It will be much less than 3.5MM. Pretty sure that won't cover the medical care for Jackie for the rest of her life.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't God or fate. it was an intoxicted driver. Happens dozens of times a day, every day. Most drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents have a record of several DWI's. If you want to place blame on anyone besides the driver, place it on the family of repeat offenders who allow this. The state can only take their driver's license, they can't keep them form drinking and driving. I don't care if it's your mother, father, spouse, brother, child, or sister, if you know there is a problem you should do something to keep them from driving drunk. Only the family can do this, sometimes only the family is aware of the problem.
43

Anonymous said...

I feel that I am stating the obvious but for those who offer the perspective of a fundamental Christian conservative view, do you not realize that the vast percent of readers of this blog are lawyers and/or those who make their living by supporting the process. A Christian conservative view means nothing to these people. They are immune through the good ole network to becoming a victim of the very process that they heap on others daily so they can never understand the pain and devastation they bring. Please hear me when I say that I stand for justice and fairness and the ability to be heard but I have never seen any of these attributes in a courthouse. Our judicial system is a playground for lawyers. They are skilled at the art of deception, manipulation and tangled lies from which they ask a jury to make a decision. They are driven by money at the courthouse just as a shark is driven by blood in the water.

Anonymous said...

Amen to the last quote.

Anonymous said...

Suing others for "justice" is never a good or honorable thing. Forgiveness is the truly honorable thing.

Jason said...

Part of the tort reform (deform?) laws allow the insurance companies to list the State (here TXDOT) as a potential responsible party even though you can't recover from the State, thus lessining the amount an insurance company has to pay for a covered claim.

The insurance industry gave Rick Perry a big wet kiss for that one.

Anonymous said...

Don't attack Jackie's lawyers, I hear Mike Simpson and Derek Boyd were so outraged they waived their fee and are only asking for payment of their expenses (filing fees, expert fees, etc). With the lawyers, Jackie and her family would not have obtained this verdict that not only gives them a sense of justice but is probably collectible against Site Management to help Jackie pay for the medical expenses she will have for the rest of her life as a result of this tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't attacking the attorneys. They're just earning a living. I was criticizing the family for suing in the first place.

Anonymous said...

3:53
Like you wouldn't? Right.....I personally helped the family move to the home where they lived for 5 days before Jackie's wreck. The move was horribly dangerous due to the road conditions at the time. No cones marking the 3 foot concrete drops, no stop signs, no barrels, no nothing. We almost got smacked just moving them in. The fact that TXDot gets off free is an injustice. The whole lot, Monroe included, needs to pay for this young lady's care - but the way the system works - Jackie's family will be in debt for the rest of their lives trying to give her the best care possible on one income and the generous donations of many.
As for the God factor - none of us know why He allowed this, nor do we know why He won't fix it. But there has been some good come out of it. Maybe someone quit drinking because of this wreck. And maybe TxDot, Site and Austin will make better decisions the next time around. We don't know all the answers - And we will NEVER understand them. But I do know this - Jackie and her family are blameless! They are 100% blameless. To suggest otherwise shows true ignorance.

Anonymous said...

5:21PM

Considering that they have had to rely on community donations to provide care for Jackie...I was pleased that they pursued every avenue that they could to provide care for Jackie....Including suing responsible parties for medical expenses. The jury has spoken and I trust their judgement. So now they are back to community donations...I will be glad to do my small part to help in any way I can...I love the Murphrees:)

Anonymous said...

3:14PM

From your statement I can tell that you don't know the family...they are good christian people who understand forgiveness well because of what Jesus has done for them. They are working through the grieving and forgiveness process as best they can and with a dignity and class that only the holy spirit can provide. I don't think suing was for punishment...It simply was an attempt to provide medical care for their injured child...nothing more. I pray that your faith and my faith are never tested in such a way.

Anonymous said...

this is 9:23PM

of course I was addressing 3:53 not not 5:21. I don't know why I put that

Tired of hearing about Jackie said...

to 3:53, so if I am correct you stated " I personally helped the family move to the home where they lived for 5 days before Jackie's wreck." this tells me that the several attempts to get txdot to correct the condition of the intersection took place over 5 days. this isnt much time to get any thing fixed. In my opinion the Murphrees shouldnt get a dime from the construction company or tx dot the person who was driving drunk is at fault.

Anonymous said...

If you have ever been a cargiver for someone such as a handicapped person or an elderly person, it is very draining. If something happens to Jackie's parents, who will care for her? It more than likely be the state so that means you and I. She can't get insurance probably. Being a primary caregiver for someone, you never really get a break from it unless you want to hire a sitter @ about $15.00 an hour or more. Jackie's parents have a hard job becasue it never ends, no vactions, no weekend get-aways, no breaks. It is exhausting.

Anonymous said...

8:03
Again - you speak about something of which you have no knowledge. They worked on the house for months prioe to moving in - plenty of time to determine there were road issues. Plenty of time to make calls of concerns.
I have a couple of questions - 1. What if Betty was not drunk? What if she was just tired from partying all night and hit Jackie because she was confused about where she was because there was not proper signage? Who would be held responsible? Now lets say Betty is your kid.....Now who was responsible? Betty or those that did not put up proper signage? If you can say that makes Betty, your kid, 70% responsible, then you have come to your opinion rationally. But if you say that changes things - then you would be just as ignorant as the jury. Drunk or not - the SIGNAGE wasn't there.
The other thing - if you are sick of hearing about Jackie - get of the blog - DUH!

Anonymous said...

For all of you out there that think this is a way for the family get rich, you do not understand the system. If there are funds recovered they all go in to a special trust that is managed by an independent third party who will decide when to make dispersements provided they are in Jackie's best interest. The parents do not receive any and have no control over the funds. I manage this kind of trust for a living but I do not manage this one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting that 10:20. People who post on here don't have a clue how it all works.

Anonymous said...

Although I believe that everyone has a right to an opinion, I think that a lot of people that have posted comments have lost sight of what is really important. A beautiful young woman's life was changed forever that morning. Although you can't put a price on her life, her family is going to need every resource possible to care for her for the rest of her life. How dare any of you make them sound like they are just after money! SHAME ON YOU! Her father quit his job to take care of her. I'm sure the cost of her care is extrodinary. I don't think that they were awarded enough!

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