Beasley Allen principal Mike Crow helped secure a $700,000 jury verdict for a mother of five involved in a serious traffic accident on I-65 in Autauga County.
On October 19, 2018, Marijo Stallings, an Indianapolis, Indiana resident, was driving along I-65 North with her two children, Anthony and Alexandra Stallings, and her mother, Elizabeth Nemecek. As she approached mile marker 194 in Autauga County, she pressed on the brake to slow down due to some unknown backup in traffic. Meanwhile, Dillon Melvin was traveling behind Stallings’ vehicle when he became distracted, taking his eyes off the road for 3-5 seconds to change the music on his iPhone. That’s when Melvin’s vehicle struck the back of Stallings’ car, causing it to flip over three times across the median before coming to a stop in the southbound lane.
Stallings and Nemecek were taken to Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery, while Stallings’ two kids were life-flighted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham. Beyond expected anxiety and stress, Stallings’ son suffered a fractured ankle, Stallings was diagnosed with whiplash, and her mother and daughter sustained minor spinal injuries. All were treated by medical staff and released later that day.
However, Stallings’ neck pain worsened upon returning to Indianapolis. Not a complainer, she waited two weeks before seeing a chiropractor. The doctor ordered an MRI, which revealed acute trauma to the spinal cord at the C3-4 vertebra. Stallings had a cervical fusion two weeks later with good results and returned to her activities, mainly as a high school and college volleyball official. But she continues to experience numbness and tingling.
Stallings hired Beasley Allen’s auto accident lawyer Mike Crow seeking compensation for the lingering discomfort and mental anguish her family continues to suffer due to the accident. Crow filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, against Melvin arguing that his reckless and distracted driving caused the accident, leading to injuries suffered by Stallings and Nemecek families. The jury deliberated four hours before returning with a $700,000 verdict in the distracted driver crash lawsuit.
“Mrs. Stallings had a difficulty expressing just how much her injury had affected her life,” Crow said. “But, even seemingly minor injuries can cause lingering symptoms that add physical, emotional, and financial stress to victims of traffic accidents. Drivers have a responsibility to ensure those they injure while driving recklessly are compensated.”
Stallings was also represented by Kent Winingham and Bill Winingham of Wilson, Kehoe and Winingham of Indianapolis.
The case was Marijo Stallings, et al. v. Dillon Melvin, et al., case number 2:20-CV-780-MHT.