Navigation

The team at Coker Law is working together to ensure that our valued staff, clients and families are following all recommendations provided by our local, state and national leadership. We know this is a stressful time with many changes occurring, so we want to reassure you Coker Law is taking every measure to ensure the welfare of our staff and the continuity of our service to our clients.

We are communicating with the courts to reschedule any postponed proceedings and will be pro-active in informing our clients of those new dates. Our office is now open during normal business hours and we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our staff, clients and visitors. If you would like to meet with one of our attorneys in person we can provide masks, gloves and hand sanitizer upon request. Also be assured that every staff member is sanitizing their work space each day and common areas are sanitized after each use. We are also monitoring staff temperatures daily. We remain available by phone and videoconference if you prefer. Your safety and well being is always our top priority.

Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the Coronavirus, and we wish to express our utmost gratitude to the healthcare professionals working tirelessly to care for our community

News

Jury Awards $3.6 million to Truck Driver’s Family

Posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

STEPHENSON v. FLORIDA DOT

Jury Awards Heroic Truck Driver’s Family $3.6 Million

Chris Stephenson wanted to be close to his family in Jacksonville so he traded a job driving a Northeast trucking route for a local assignment with Infinger Transportation Co. In the late and heavily rain-soaked afternoon of August 12, 2000, Chris was driving a gasoline tanker for Infinger and was at the base of Jacksonville’s Hart Bridge leaving downtown when motorist Jason Keiffer lost control of his automobile and swerved into Chris’ big rig. Swerving in the other direction to avoid collision with Keiffer, Chris immediately realized that the safety of the emergency lane was not an option open to him. An earlier accident had caused that lane to be blocked with several stationary vehicles, including a TV news van. To avoid slamming into them, Chris swerved toward the exit ramp to Atlantic Boulevard. His rig was unable to make that sharp turn and he collided with the guardrail. His gas tank exploded into a 50-foot fireball that claimed his life. Chris was 29 years old. Those who witnessed Chris’ split-second decision to put the safety of others before his own later heralded him as a hero. This was little comfort to the stunned and devastated family that Chris Stephenson left behind. His wife Amie was eight months pregnant at the time and they had a two-year-old daughter.

In the legal case stemming from this tragic accident, Partners Howard Coker and Jim Daniel served as local counsel in association with Attorneys Sean Domnick and Lance Block of the West Palm Beach firm Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart and Shipley. An investigation of the accident and surrounding circumstances led attorneys to determine that a blocked drain had caused water to cover part of the nearby roadway and had been the core cause of the chain of events that lead to Chris Stephenson’s death. The legal team then concluded and asserted in court that the Florida Department of Transportation was the agency responsible for maintaining the drain and carried a major responsibility for the fatal accident. After a seven-day trial, a jury agreed and awarded the estate of Chris Stephenson $3.6 Million.