When CSX employee Kevin Looney was visiting Jacksonville for meetings as a labor union representative, he never imagined he would return to his family in Tampa with lifelong pain, suffering, and permanent injuries due to the negligence of another driver. While traveling around Jacksonville, Mr. Looney was slowing for traffic when a negligent driver abruptly slammed into the back of his pickup truck. Due to the impact of the crash, Mr. Looney suffered injuries to his neck and mid-back that would require continuous medical treatment throughout the rest of his life. Severely injured in an unfamiliar city, overwhelmed by the mounting medical costs, and not knowing where to turn, Mr. Looney and his family knew they needed help.
Since the crash, Mr. Looney’s injuries have required ongoing medical treatment – including painful injections – just to help him get through each day. Despite his pain, the former U.S. Marine and CSX conductor continued to push through and keep working because he was the sole breadwinner for his wife and two children. Not only did the negligent driver’s insurance company offer Mr. Looney a mere $25,000 to compensate for his pain and suffering and medical costs, but the other driver attempted to blame Mr. Looney for the crash as well.
When Coker Law heard about Mr. Looney’s case and how unfairly he was being treated, they knew they needed to step in. His injuries, which would require never-ending medical treatment, would eventually cut his career short, and $25,000 wasn’t enough to support the Looney family.
“Mr. Looney had a very active lifestyle leading up to this crash. Starting as a kid, he was always doing something outside whether it was fishing, hiking, kayaking, basketball, swimming, etc. You name it, he did it,” said Attorney Janeen Kirch. “When he and wife (his high school sweetheart) had children, he got to share those activities with his family. This crash changed all of that. It changed an entire family. Getting to know the Looneys and serving as their advocate is exactly why I went into law.”
While Mr. Looney’s injuries were serious and permanent, the evidence in the case showed a low amount of property damage to Mr. Looney’s pickup truck. However, his Coker Law attorneys were able to show the jury that property damage is not a good indicator of occupant injury. Many hours were spent working up the case for trial, tracking down witnesses, and meeting with experts to understand Mr. Looney’s injuries and how they occurred in the crash.
The legal team, led by Partner Dan Iracki and Attorney Janeen Kirch, fought the case in court and received a jury verdict of more than $1.7 million dollars for Mr. Looney and his family. “The time Coker Law Attorney Janeen Kirch took getting to know the Looneys and their story really showed in her prosecution of their case. This was a great team effort and we are honored to have given Kevin Looney and his family the justice they deserved,” said Iracki.
Case Title: John “Kevin” Looney v. Christine Ann Crime
Attorneys/staff involved in case: Attorneys Dan Iracki, Howard Coker, Janeen Kirch and Aaron Sprague; Paralegals Leigh-Anne Morrill and Cristiana Bachman; Trial Coordinator Evie Jackson; Media Specialist Alec Morrill; Legal Assistants Kristie Renaud and Debbie Frick.
Date Jury Verdict: February 25, 2020
Amount Jury Verdict: $1,753,219.75