published Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Hamilton County jury awards $9.25 million to drunken driving victim

A Hamilton County jury has awarded $9.25 million to the victim in a drunken-driving collision.

The Circuit Court jury ruled Tuesday on the civil lawsuit against Kevin Davis and awarded $350,000 in past damages, $150,000 in future damages and $8.75 million in punitive damages to Jessica Volz, according to court documents.

Local attorney Morgan Adams represented Volz in the lawsuit and a news release issued by his law office today states that the ruling is the “largest drunk driving verdict in the history” of Tennessee.

According to Adams’ release: Davis, 29, drank half a bottle of Southern Comfort over a 30-minute period on Nov. 25, 2008, waited 10 minutes, then drove down Mountain View Road.

While driving, Davis passed out, drifted into the oncoming traffic lane and struck Volz’ car head on when the then-18-year-old Ooltewah High School student was returning home from a basketball game.

Volz continues to have foot problems after multiple surgeries and years of physical therapy, the release said, and seeking punitive damages was an effort to deter others from similar activity.

Criminal Court records show he incident was Davis’ third DUI.

On Oct. 14, 2009, Davis pleaded guilty to vehicular assault in the Volz crash and received a four-year sentence, according to court records.

He has 30 days to file a notice of appeal to the Circuit Court ruling.

For more details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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