florida

John Kuczwanski killed in Tallahassee road rage incident

IDIOT ALERT:

In addition, Mr. Kuczwanski is this week’s recipient of the Dumb-Dumb of the Week award for proving, once again, that Forrest Gump’s mama was right; Stupid IS As Stupid Does.

Kuczwanski was arrested for a separate road rage incident at the same intersection in 2014.

John Kuczwanski, the Legislative Affairs Director for the State Board of Administration, was killed in a shootout triggered by a road rage incident in north Tallahassee.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office took one person into custody after the Jan. 6 incident, however that person has since been released and no charges have been filed, according to a LCSO news release.

The office issued an initial statement reporting a fatal shooting that occurred last Thursday, shortly after 5 p.m.,

Billion-dollar lawyer speaks: Here’s what happened in tragic Florida wreck

His billion-dollar judgment in hand, Curry Pajcic is speaking out about what happened in the series of truck wrecks in 2017 that took the life of Connor Dzion and led to the enormous jury award.

The arguments aren’t new; Pajcic, attorney for the Dzion family in Florida’s Nassau County court, presented them during the five-day trial. But since few people heard those in person, Pajcic appears to be on a quest to get his view of what happened out to a broader audience. He held a press conference after the verdict, and a Pajcic & Pajcic associate reached out to FreightWaves to offer up a longer review of the events of that night.

Pajcic has the advantage of the “other side” being quiet or nonexistent. One of the two trucking companies involved, Canada-based Kahkashan, has proved impossible to contact — for both FreightWaves and other media, based on reports. Kahkashan was represented by the Orlando office of Wilson Elser, a national law firm. But efforts to contact attorneys for the firm have failed.

The second company, Staten Island, New York-based AJD Business Services, is listed by the Department of Transportation as inactive. Its lawyer withdrew from the case in 2019, and it failed to answer any of the court’s actions going back to that year.

Two trucking companies hit with $1 billion verdict in death of teenager

Connor Dzion had only attended two weeks of classes at the University of North Florida in 2017 when a distracted semi-truck driver slammed into a line of cars on Sept. 4. Dzion had been in standstill traffic for over an hour on Interstate 95 near Yulee because another semi-truck driver had flipped his vehicle ahead of him, blocking movement on the highway. 

His mother, Melissa Dzion, realized her son was late returning home from visiting his girlfriend and used the Find My iPhone feature to look for him. She rushed to the site. But the crash had ultimately killed her 18-year-old son. 

On Aug. 20 after just five days of testimony and four hours of deliberation, the Nassau County jury handed down a verdict of over $100 million to the Jacksonville teenager’s parents for pain and suffering for the loss of their son and $900 million in punitive damages against AJD Business Services Inc., the company whose truck driver had crashed ahead of Dzion and stalled traffic. 

Pensacola jury awards $7.1 million in bellwether case over defective 3M military earplugs

More than 230,000 military members and veterans could receive millions in damages against 3M Co. after a Pensacola jury found the multinational corporation liable for hearing loss from defective earplugs the company sold the military for 12 years.

A jury on Friday awarded more than $7.1 million in damages to three former service members from Kentucky and Georgia in the first “bellwether trial” of a massive and complex lawsuit against the company.

If the verdict stands — and if similar verdicts are reached in more bellwether trials — 3M could pay out millions to service members who used the Combat Arms Earplugs, Version 2 (CAEv2).

3M and its subsidiary Aearo Technologies sold the earplugs to the Department of Defense from 2003 to 2015, and they

Trucking company slammed with historic $412M jury verdict in crash lawsuit

A jury for a state court in Florida has ordered trucking company Top Auto Express to pay a man hundreds of millions of dollars for a nonfatal crash, shattering nuclear verdict records against trucking companies.

On Oct. 2, a jury in Florida’s Second Circuit Court awarded Duane Washington nearly $412 million for damages from a July 2018 crash. Although several defendants were initially named in the lawsuit, Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based Top Auto Express was the only defendant left by the time the jury reached a decision.

According to a news release from Washington’s attorney, Ben Crump, Washington was partially paralyzed in the crash that involved a 45-vehicle pileup on Interstate 10. The crash was the result of wet road conditions and a Top Auto Express truck speeding.

At the time of the crash, Washington, a former career Army sergeant, was riding his motorcycle on the interstate near Tallahassee. In an attempt to avoid the scene, Washington tried to steer his motorcycle onto the median. However, he ended up crashing into a stopped truck. That truck did not have lights on while in the emergency lane.

Washington sustained life-altering trauma, including breaking both sides of his pelvis away from his spine, severe colon and urethra damage, permanent incontinence, and loss of sexual function, according to Crump. As a result of his injuries, Washington had a colostomy bag installed during his six-month hospital stay. Currently, Washington can walk only with a specialized arm crutch.

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