published Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Tennessee Supreme Court reinstates $43.8 million verdict after boy paralyzed

JACKSON, Tenn. — The Tennessee Supreme Court has reinstated a $43.8 million verdict for a Memphis child who was paralyzed in an auto accident.

According to court records, Billy Meals was 6 years old on Jan. 18, 2002. He was riding in the back seat of his father's car when a drunk driver crossed the line and hit the car head on.

Ford Motor Co. was held to be partially at fault for Billy's injuries due to issues with the seat belt, and the company was ordered to pay $6.57 million.

The state Appeals Court found the verdict excessive and reduced Ford's share of the damages to $1.93 million.

Ruling on Friday from Jackson, the Supreme Court reinstated the original verdict of the jury, saying it was reasonable.

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