Kropp v. Coca Cola – $1.1 Million Trial Verdict (2012)
After a week of trial, an Alachua County jury awarded Gainesville resident, Deborah Kropp, an over $1 Million dollar gross verdict, stemming from an automobile wreck on County Road 225 that occurred on July 20, 2007. Her attorney was John M. Phillips of Jacksonville, Florida. Phillips said, “It was 2 years of David versus Goliath. We had to fight for everything and they had 5 different lawyers working on the case. Despite it being a rear-end collision, they conducted discovery on tire wear. They made an issue of private psychological records that were in no way related to the suit or claimed as a part of it just to make the jury not like her.”
Coca-Cola admitted it was understaffed and a convenience store was running out of product. They asked a warehouse worker, with no prior driving experience, a negative driving and criminal history to run product to the store. As he was returning, he saw the Kropp from about 300 feet. He failed to slow or stop until about 150 feet, leaving 140 feet of skid marks according to the Police Report. Worse still, as the driver slammed on the brakes, a toolbox slid onto the accelerator, nullifying the driver’s attempts to stop the vehicle. Mrs. Kropp’s car was hit from behind and launched into the air. Coke’s driver was cited for careless driving.
Our client ultimately underwent 3 surgeries and was recommended three more. Medical bills totaled over $250,000. Coca-Cola called a few days before trial and raised their offer from $35,000 to $75,000. We refused and the gross verdict was $1.1 million dollars. Coca-Cola appealed and the case was resolved for an undisclosed amount.
(Kropp Second Amended Complaint) (Kropp Verdict)