Bryce Angell, a skilled Atlanta personal injury lawyer at The Angell Law Firm, recently helped secure a $54 million dollar jury verdict against Avis Budget Group, Avis Rent a Car, LLC, and related defendants, for two women who were severely injured when an employee of an Avis Rent a Car agency hit them with a stolen Avis vehicle.
The two women’s cases were heard separately, but were consolidated for discovery purposes.
In 2013, Byron Perry, an employee at a downtown Atlanta Avis Rent a Car agency, stole a Ford Edge.
Unbeknownst to the Avis agency, Perry was a five-time convicted felon, and had been implicated in a theft at the branch where he worked, yet the Avis agency continued to allow Perry to remain employed.
After stealing the Edge from his place of employment, Perry drove the stolen vehicle through a residential area, rounding a corner at a speed in excess of 70 mph and lost control of the vehicle.
The vehicle hit a park wall where two women were sitting together.
One of the victims, Adrienne Smith, who was only 22 years old at the time, suffered catastrophic and traumatic injuries.
Both of her legs sustained fractures, and her left leg was torn off during the impact when she was dragged under the vehicle.
Ms. Smith’s injuries required five surgical procedures, one of which included an amputation of her left leg above the knee, and 32 days of hospital care.
Pins and nails were also placed into her right leg and left wrist as part of her treatment.
Ms. Smith needed the help of a car accident lawyer in Atlanta to recover financial compensation for her injuries.
Ms. Smith filed a personal injury lawsuit with the help of an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Bryce Angell, separate from the other victim against Avis and the other responsible parties.
The case is Smith v. Avis Rent A Car System, LLC, et al., No. 14-C-00798-S4.
The premise of the case was that Avis should be held accountable for hiring Perry, who never underwent a background check as part of his hiring process.
Ms. Smith’s share of the $54 million dollar total verdict awarded to the two women victims is $47 million dollars.
In February, the Gwinnett County jury found liability as follows, and in May the judge ordered the following award amounts be paid to Smith:
Avis Rent A Car System, LLC and Avis Budget Group, Inc., was found to be 50% at fault, which amounts to $23,500,000 dollars worth of damages.
- Avis’s security manager was found to be 1% at fault, which amounts to $470,000.
- Avis’s agency operator, CSYG, Inc., was found to be 15% at fault, which amounts to $7,050,000.
- Avis’s agency manager was found to be 1% at fault, which amounts to $470,000.
- Byron Perry was found liable for 33%, amounting to $15.5 million.
In a special verdict, the jury found CSYG to be an “employee” of Avis, and thus Avis is liable for CSYG’s share of the damages, as well, which includes the damages attributed to both the agency manager and the security manager (as they were both undisputedly employees of CSYG), under the principles of joint and several liability and vicarious liability.
In total, Avis was ordered to pay $31,490,000 in damages, plus interest and court fees.
After everything was said and done, Avis was held liable for a whopping $31.5 million dollars in the case brought by Smith.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Atlanta
When accident cases involve multiple defendants who could be potentially liable for a victim’s injuries, the liability issues can get complicated quickly.
A skilled personal injury lawyer serving Atlanta can help identify all of the potentially liable parties and will seek damages from each one as appropriate.
If you have been the victim of an accident due to the negligence of another, please contact a car accident attorney at The Angell Law Firm, LLC, by calling (770) 217-4954 today.
You can also reach us by filling out our online contact form.