A Fairfax County jury has awarded a Manassas man $866,000 for injuries he received when a 35-ton tractor-trailer rig hauling contaminated lead waste slammed into the stopped minivan in which he was a passenger.
The jury reached the verdict in favor of a 56 auto mechanic and business owner, whose hip “was so badly broken that his orthopedic surgeon was not able to fit all of the pieces back together when it was first repaired," said James' attorney, Benjamin W. Glass, III, of Fairfax.
The plaintiff owned an auto repair shop in Haymarket, Va., and was a passenger in a minivan that was stopped to make a turn on James Madison Highway - Route 15 - in Haymarket when he was struck by the 18-wheeler. The truck was carrying contaminated lead waste for Envirite, Inc., a Canton, Ohio, corporation that specializes in the recycling of contaminated solids and debris.
He had undergone two major surgeries and faced the prospect of at least three additional surgeries over his lifetime.
The accident occurred in December 2000, when the tractor-trailer, driven by Harold Wood of Spring Grove, Pa., slammed into the rear of a construction van that had slowed to turn into a restaurant on Route 15. That collision pushed that vehicle several hundred yards down the road and sent the tractor-trailer over the dividing line of the highway and head-on into the minivan. One other person was injured in the accident.
Envirite denied that its driver was responsible for the accident despite Wood's testimony at trial that he had pleaded guilty to improper driving in traffic court and “accepted full responsibility” for the accident.
The jury deliberated about 30 minutes before delivering its verdict, which with prejudgment interest, totals $866,000.00. The one-day trial was heard before Circuit Court Judge Robert W. Wooldridge, Jr.