A major premises liability and injury precedent was set in Seattle, Washington on Nov. 3, when a jury returned a verdict of $131,000,375 for the plaintiff, a quadriplegic. Nick Rowley, partner at Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley and founder of Trial Lawyers for Justice represented Melissa Blaylock, who was rendered a quadriplegic due injuries sustained while a passenger in a car operated by a drunk driver.

Blaylock, a 39-year-old mother of four, was a passenger in her own car on May 3, 2014 and had a .20 blood alcohol level when leaving a bar with the driver, her estranged husband Bruce Greene, who had a blood alcohol level of .24. After driving only two miles after leaving a restaurant, they were involved in a horrific accident. This was Greene’s third incident while driving under the influence and his second DUI after consuming alcohol at the restaurant. Following the accident, Melissa suffered a spine fracture that caused her current condition.

“This is a case of negligence and multiple poor decisions and irresponsibility which resulted in forever changing Melissa’s life,” said Rowley, lead trial lawyer. “Melissa will never walk again, will require constant aid for basic everyday tasks, will continue to incur medical bills, and will remain a prisoner of her own body due to this horrific incident. This could have all been avoided had someone with a BAC of nearly three times the legal limit not been behind the wheel.”

The verdict apportioned fault against both parties in the case. The restaurant owners were initially named as plaintiffs but its involvement ceased before Rowley finished presenting his client’s case.

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