BRIDGEPORT – A 9-year-old Easton boy, severely injured when his family’s car was struck head on by a dump truck four years ago, was awarded nearly $8 million by a Superior Court jury Thursday.
The jury of four women and two men deliberated about two hours before finding Designing Nature, a landscape design company on Judd Road in Easton, responsible for the negligence of its driver, Devin Schreyer, and ordering it to pay $2.98 million in economic damages and $5 million in non-economic damages to the boy’s family.
“It was a tragic case in many ways beginning with the boy’s injuries and becoming more tragic because the insurance case refused to resolve the case short of trial,” said Stewart Casper, who with Paul Ganim represented the McCauley family. “We are pleased with the outcome.”
The boy’s parents were in the courtroom when the verdict was announced but declined comment.
With the plaintiffs’ lawyer fees, which are going to be determined later, and interest the final award could be more than $12 million.
Gary Hohenthal, who represented the landscape company’s insurance carrier, would not comment on the verdict.
The trial, before Judge Theodore Tyma, lasted three weeks.
On June 26, 2010, Thomas McCauley was driving north on Route 59 with his two sons and their two friends in the car, according to trial testimony. As they approached the intersection with Church Road their car was hit by a dump truck driven by Schreyer. The force of the crash drove the car’s dashboard into the rear passenger section.
At the time police said the 9-year-old boy had to be extricated from the car and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. As a result of the crash he suffered traumatic brain injury and both legs had been broken, according to testimony.
“Although he has made a lot of progress he will continue to have difficulty as a result of his injuries for the rest of his life,” Ganim said.