Twenty-year-old Andrei Franciuc was too busy sending a text to notice he was about to plunge into a car at an intersection in West Bloomfield, leaving the the driver with permanent, life-altering injuries.
On Friday, an Oakland County jury awarded $1.1 million to 53-year-old Kathy Haynes, who sustained a traumatic brain injury, severe neck spasms, an injured disc and permanent nerve injury, said her attorney, Ven Johnson of Johnson Law, PLC.
“The jury found that she will experience horrific pain the rest of her life, and that it interfered with her
ability to work,” Johnson said.
“We commend this Oakland County jury for listening to the evidence and finding in favor of Kathy, who was seriously and permanently injured as a result of a grossly negligent young man, who not only ignored a red light, but also was texting when he caused this accident,” Johnson said.
The December 2011 accident occurred as Haynes was headed west on Walnut Lake in West Bloomfield. As she drove through a green light, Franciuc ran a red light on Middlebelt and plowed into Haynes’ car.
It was Franciuc’s birthday, and he was on a break from work.
The case went to a trial, Johnson said, because “the insurance company – State Farm – refused to make any meaningful settlement offers whatsoever.”
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.