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The Sumner Law Group LLC The Sumner Law Group LLC

Brent Sumner Wins $2.2 Million Verdict for Accident Victim


The Sumner Law Group, LLC is pleased to announce that Lead Attorney Brent Sumner was recently successful in securing a $2.2 million jury verdict on behalf of his client, G.R. What makes this victory particularly gratifying, however, is that eight other lawyers had passed on the opportunity to represent this client before the case eventually made its way into the hands of our firm. By the time G.R. contacted our legal team, he only had one week left to pursue his claim before the Illinois statute of limitations expired. For this reason, we moved quickly to file suit in Federal Court in the Southern District of Illinois so that he would have the opportunity to seek justice and rectify his reputation. Although Mr. Sumner was left with little time to investigate the specifics of G.R.'s accident before moving forward with the case, he believed in his client enough to take action.

On February 26, 2010, G.R. had been involved in a multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 70 near Effingham, Illinois. He had been driving a UPS tractor-trailer around 3 A.M. when he unknowingly approached another tractor-trailer that was stopped in the middle of the roadway. Because of the fog bank that had rolled in, G.R. did not see the vehicle until he slammed into the back of it. He didn't even have enough time to touch his brakes or swerve out of the way. Just seconds later, a third tractor-trailer barreling into the back of his vehicle—subsequently causing a pile-up in the middle of Interstate 70. Once the paramedics arrived on the scene, our client was transported to St. Anthony's Hospital and then airlifted to Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign, IL. According to G.R., the only thing he remembers about the incident was holding his teeth and tongue in his hand before passing out.

Since our client had suffered numerous facial fractures and lacerations, he proceeded to undergo 30 oral and facial reconstructive surgeries over the following three years. He was even out of work for more than a year while he recovered from the injuries that he sustained in the crash. Incidentally, his employer blamed him for causing the accident—despite G.R.'s adamant disposition that he did nothing wrong. For this reason, he and his wife sought out the assistance of numerous attorneys, hoping that someone would help them to prove that he was not at fault for causing the accident. Each one thought that it would be too difficult to prove that the driver of the stopped tractor-trailer was responsible, so each one passed on the opportunity to represent him. It wasn't until G.R. came to The Sumner Law Group, LLC that he was given the chance to pursue his case.

Once Attorney Brent Sumner investigated the circumstances of the accident, he found several pieces of evidence to support G.R.'s claim that he never saw the other vehicle. According to the Illinois Crash Report, the driver of the other tractor-trailer, I.K., was issued a citation for coming to a nearly complete stop on the travel portion of the roadway. Additionally, Illinois Troopers cited the driver for violating numerous Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations after they performed an inspection of each vehicle that was involved in the collision. Most notably, the brakes on the tractor-trailer were out of service and out of adjustment—which means that the vehicle never should have been allowed onto the road in the first place. For this reason, the jury returned a unanimous decision at the conclusion of G.R.'s three-day trial, resulting in a $2.2 million verdict.