Kevin Brown knew he had problems. He had just been rear-ended by an elderly man in a small sedan. Only eight months before, Brown had undergone neck surgery for injuries from another rear-end collision. Now, his neck was hurting again, and he felt numbness and tingling in his fingers. The new crash caused no damage to his pickup truck and practically no visible damage to the elderly man’s car. The elderly man himself was uninjured, and law enforcement was never notified of the crash. However, as a result of the crash, Brown had to have neck surgery again.
In cases like Brown’s, juries more often find for the defendant.
Brown tried to settle out of court with the elderly man’s insurance company, but the company refused to pay anything.
Few attorneys would have been willing to take Brown’s case all the way to trial, but Brown called Chris Shakib of Terrell • Hogan. Shakib had represented him after his first collision and wanted to help him again.
“Kevin and his family are great people, and I couldn’t let them bear the financial burdens of another neck surgery caused by someone else,” said Shakib.
Shakib filed a lawsuit for Brown. As the case approached trial, the elderly man’s insurance company was only willing to offer Brown a small “nuisance value” settlement.
“Essentially, they challenged us to try the case,” Shakib said.
On May 12, 2008, Shakib and Michael S. Sharrit of Terrell • Hogan took Brown’s case to a jury trial in Duval County. Three days later, the jury returned a verdict awarding Brown $175,000.
Chris Shakib and Mike Sharrit constructed a bumper identical to the at-fault driver’s front bumper as a trial exhibit
I can’t thank Chris and Mike enough for what they did,” said Brown. “This wasn’t an easy case, but they went to trial because they believed in me. I really appreciate that.”
Kevin Brown with his wife, Julie, and their two daughters