Monday, May 11, 2009

PDKH Lawyers obtain award for mother and daugher injured by drunk driver

Pittman Dutton Kirby & Hellums attorneys Chris Hellums and David Hodge of Birmingham, along with Tom Denham of Moulton recently tried and received a verdict in the Circuit Court of Lawrence County in the amount of $2,075,000. The verdict consisted of $850,000 in compensatory damages and $1,225,000 in punitive damages.

PDKH represented a family from Lawrence County whose lives were forever altered when they were hit head-on collision by a drunk driver on July 18, 2006. The driver of the other vehicle crossed the center line and hit the Lawrence County residents head on. At trial, PDKH lawyers Chris Hellums and David Hodge were able to introduce into evidence that at approximately 9:40 am in the morning, the driver of the other vehicle was intoxicated at a level of almost four times the legal limit and that his vehicle had open containers and empty bottles in the front seat.

The force of the impact was so great that the client's vehicle traveled 39 feet in the opposite direction from which it was traveling and caught fire. Heroic fellow motorists were able to pull the mother and daughter from the burning vehicle as it exploded in flames. The mother suffered numerous physical injuries including two collapsed lungs, a broken collar bone and broken ribs, all of which required multiple surgeries, extensive hospitalization and painful physical therapy. The 16 year-old daughter suffered a broken back and a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed. After months of surgeries and physical therapy, coupled with a strong will to overcome and prayers from others, the teen was able to take her first steps without the assistance of a wheel chair. Even though the teen will never live without pain, she continues to work hard and undergo physical therapy as she strives to walk normally again.

This case was tried by partners Chris Hellums and David Hodge. Chris Hellums can be reached at and David Hodge can be reached at .

To read more: