After a five-day jury trial, a Cherokee County, Kansas jury returned a
verdict for Kara Hansen on February 2, 2018, for $38,500,000.00. Roger
Johnson and Anna Pace of the law firm Johnson, Vorhees, and Martucci
represented Ms. Hansen, a 20-year-old resident from Riverton, Kansas.
Ms. Hansen was catastrophically injured on April 9, 2014, when her custom
1966 Ford Mustang was struck in the rear by Corbin Hamilton, formerly
from Pittsburg, Kansas. Ms. Hansen had been stopped in the northbound
lane of Alt 69, waiting for a southbound vehicle to pass by so that she
could turn into her own driveway. The impact to her rear propelled her
into the approaching southbound vehicle, driven by Marty Atnip. Struck
at highway speeds, she suffered burst fractures in her neck and injuries
to her spinal cord, ultimately resulting in tetraplegia. Mr. Hamilton
denied fault, blaming Ms. Hansen, Mr. Atnip and a used car dealership
from which he had just purchased his vehicle. The jury found him 100% at fault.
Jurors afterwards, in speaking with the attorneys, voiced their hope that
the verdict would help secure funds needed by Ms. Hansen to best give
her a chance at a meaningful life. They also emphasized the need for Mr.
Hamilton to be held accountable, particularly given his unwillingness
to accept that his inattention while driving had led to this tragic accident.
Ms. Hansen’s attorney, Roger Johnson, credited Ms. Hansen’s
tremendous daily courage and positive spirit, which had become clear to
the jury both through her testimony and that of her friends and caregivers,
for the jury’s decision to give this verdict.