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Couple Awarded $36.5 Million After 2010 Crash Left Woman Paralyzed

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

RIVERSIDE (CBS) — A Riverside jury Friday awarded a husband and wife $36.5 million in damages after finding that a truck driver from a national logistics firm caused the 2010 collision that left her paralyzed.

Following a four-week trial, a jury sided with Prakash Sheth, 64, and his wife, Jashiree Sheth, 58, both citizens of India, in their lawsuit against Green Bay-based Schneider National Inc.

The civil suit was filed against the $3.4 billion company in the wake of a March 26, 2010, crash on a Riverside County freeway.

According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, the Sheths were being driven by an American relative to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana when their vehicle was hit by a Schneider driver, who went around the victims’ car but failed to completely clear the sedan while changing lanes.

“The impact of the truck caused the Sheths’ vehicle to spin out of control across the freeway, where it hit the median barrier and was struck by another vehicle,” according to a statement released by Panish, Shea & Boyle, the law firm representing the plaintiffs.

All of the occupants were hurt, but Jashiree Sheth received the worst injuries, including a spinal fracture that left her paralyzed. She now requires 24-hour care, said attorney Brian Panish.

“The plaintiffs have suffered tremendously and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives,” he said. “The jury recognized this with their verdict. Justice was done.”

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Schneider planned to appeal. Company representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

The logistics firm’s attorneys argued that the driver, alone, was at fault for the crash.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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