$ 1 billion verdict in Nassau County crash that killed UNF student
YULEE, Florida – A Nassau County jury has handed down a billion dollar verdict in the death of a local University of North Florida student killed in a 22-vehicle crash in 2017 on Interstate 95.
Soldiers said 18-year-old Connor Dzion was pulled over in traffic following a Labor Day weekend tractor-trailer crash near State Road 200 when another truck pulled him over. collided from behind, killing him.
Lawyer for Dzion’s parents said it was the result of distracted driving and illegal trucking practices.
“It’s hell,” Melissa Dzion, Dzion’s mother, told reporters after the verdict. “There’s no other word for it. It is hell in its purest form.
The pain of losing a child never goes away. Four years later, Connor Dzion’s parents are devastated.
“Someone in the prime of their lives, just ready to fly out of the nest and make an impact on the world, suffocated, could never see it,” said David Dzion, his father, moved.
Connor Dzion was a Creekside High School scholar and a freshman at UNF on a scholarship. He was also an avid golfer.
Lawyer for the Curry Pajcic family, a civil attorney for Pajcic & Pajcic, blames two trucking companies for the death of Connor Dzion, saying the semiconductor of AJD Business Services Inc. of New York State , was distracted by his cell phone, exceeding his legal limit of hours and without a commercial driver’s license when he caused the crash that blocked the freeway. Pajcic said the driver was on a New York-Miami route and had driven for 25 hours, against transportation laws.
While Connor Dzion was sitting in emergency traffic, said Pajcic, another trucker, with Kahkashan Carrier of Canada, was traveling at 70 mph on cruise control when he slammed into stopped traffic, killing the teenager.
“Never apply its brakes until a second before impact,” he said. “He didn’t see the stopped cars, a parking lot where I stopped traffic with flashing lights, flashing lights, emergency vehicles.”
After five days of testimony at the civil trial, on August 20, a jury returned a verdict of $ 100 million to Connor Dzion’s parents for pain and suffering and $ 900 million for punitive damages, citing AJD Business Services hiring a dangerous driver. The jury agreed that the company had done next to nothing for security and background checks before letting its driver take the wheel. The two companies remain in activity but have not paid the sums ordered.
“There are good trucking companies out there that deliver the things we need. It’s the bad trucking companies that pay in the dark, ”Pajcic noted.
Connor Dzion’s parents have said that no amount of money will replace their son and they hope no one else has to go through it. Now they are launching a non-profit organization against distracted driving: the Connor Dzion Foundation.
“No parent should have to go through this, ever,” said a tearful Melissa Dzion.
News4Jax has contacted the two companies involved in the lawsuit for their side of the story. The owner of Kahkashan said he had no comment. A message left with AJD management was not returned.
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