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$28 Million Verdict Drunk Driving Crash Highlights Low-Ball Settlement Offer

A West Mifflin jury on Friday returned a $28 Million verdict in favor of the family of 24 year- old Jessica Trail. Jessica and three other friends were traveling on Lincoln Place highway in West Mifflin when their vehicle was hit head on by another vehicle traveling 70 mph. Also seriously injured in the accident was Jessica’s boyfriend, William Grice. The driver of other vehicle, Timothy Lesko, had a blood alcohol limit of .226, three times the legal limit in Pennsylvania. Prior to the accident, Mr. Lesko had attended what was referred to as a gun bash at a local Elks lodge, where he consumed a number of alcoholic drinks.

While the jury was still deliberating, the attorney for the Elks lodge, James Young, offered Jessica’s parents $1.5 to settle the case. When informed of the Elks lodge’s low-ball offer, Jessica’s father, Howard Trail, responded, “I’d rather lose this case than lose my dignity.” Jessica and her family were ultimately vindicated by the jury when they returned a $28 million verdict in their favor.

Unfortunately, Jessica’s case is not unique as more and more accident victims are being presented with low ball offers in an attempt to settle their case. A tremendous amount of credit is due to Jessica’s family for having the courage to reject a multi-million dollar low ball settlement offer and the family’s attorney, John Gismondi.

To read more about Jessica’s case in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette at: