A Texas jury has awarded $24 million to a woman hit by a Coca-Cola truck driver who was talking on her cellphone, the Associated Press reported Monday.
Vanice Chatman-Wilson, 37, was given $10 million in punitive damages and $14 million in actual damages by a jury in Corpus Christi last Friday, according to AP.
Chatman-Wilson now suffers from neck and back pain and had to have surgery following the 2010 accident, when her Ford Fusion was struck by a truck driven by Araceli Vanessa Cabral. According to AP, Cabral testified that she was not aware of the danger of driving while using a cellphone.
Where has she been living, under a rock?
Coca-Cola plans to appeal the jury’s verdict. No surprise there.
The soft drink company has a policy mandating that its drivers use a hands-free device when driving and using a cellphone. Cabral claims that she was using a headset, according to AP.
That policy should be no cellphones, period. Even with a headset, drivers are distracted when they are talking on a cellphone.