A Rutherford County jury awarded damages totaling nearly $3 million in wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits filed in connection with a July 2011 crash that killed one man and seriously injured another on I-24, according to court records.
The late-June decision before Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor is believed to be the largest financial award ever made in a Rutherford County car-crash case.
Jurors awarded $1.96 million to Scott Summerville, 57, of Nashville, who suffered permanent injuries and underwent multiple surgeries after the crash, and more than $1 million to the executors of John O. Jackson, who was in his early 80s when he was killed in the wreck.
Summerville was driving Jackson’s 2000 Mercedes Benz eastbound on I-24 near the Sam Ridley Parkway exit in Smyrna when the Toyota Camry driven by Mildred Payne of Owensboro, Ky., ran out of control, slammed into a sign, crossed the grassy median and collided into them. Jackson, a passenger in the Mercedes, died 12 days later.
The jury placed all of the blame in wreck on Payne, according to the verdict, and zero blame on another driver, Frank Hogan, and the state of Tennessee, which was brought into the lawsuit by three parties for failure to maintain a safe highway.
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