A New Columbia couple recently won what is reportedly the largest personal injury award ever granted by a jury in Union County.
Gerald and Pamela Felix were awarded $725,290 in a verdict returned Jan. 20 in Union County Court. The jury awarded the couple $342,000 for impairment of earning capacity, $47,000 for pain and suffering, $10,000 for loss of ability to enjoy life, $300,000 for future medical expenses and nearly $22,000 for past medical expenses, in addition to several thousand in small amounts.
The couple sued both the driver of the truck involved in the accident and his employer.
They were in a vehicle involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer truck in January 2004. Nathan Bingaman, a driver for Ken Smith Farms, Middleburg, was making a left turn from the northbound lanes of Route 15 at the Silver Moon and turned directly in front of oncoming traffic, according to the lawsuit. The tractor-trailer blocked the center southbound lane and part of the outside lane, causing a collision with the Felix vehicle, which was traveling south.
The accident left Ms. Felix with severe injuries, according to her attorney, Neil O’Donnell, of Wilkes-Barre. She had to have a 12-inch metal plate placed in her left leg and will need to undergo further surgeries.
In addition to the award to Ms. Felix, Mr. Felix was awarded $5,000 for loss of consortium.
Judge Louise O. Knight presided over the civil trial.