A jury has awarded $22 million in damages to the widow of a Braselton orthodontist killed when a tree fell on him while he was riding at a motocross track in 2019 in Union Point, according to court documents.
The Greene County jury decided on Friday, April 29 that Mike McCommons, owner of Durhamtown Off Road Park, was negligent when he was moving an excavator on Sept. 28 and struck a 62-foot dead tree, causing the tree to fall on the track and kill Dr. Adam White.
The tree fell on the track just as White rode by, striking him on the head and neck. The impact killed White instantly, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Koopmeiner said during the trial.
During the trial, lawyers for McCommons argued that the tree was already on the track when it fell.
Jurors deliberated for three hours before reaching a verdict.
The jury found McCommons, along with five associated corporate entities — Durhamtown Off Road Parks, Inc., Georgia Trails and Rentals, Inc., Durhamtown Farms, Inc., Durhamtown Pro Shop, Inc., and Robert McCommons as Trustee of Two Rivers Irrevocable Trust — liable for White’s death.
White’s widow, Debra Ann White, sued McCommons three months after her husband’s death.
White, 47, operated Family Orthodontics, which has two dozen locations in Georgia, including a practice in Gainesville.
Born in Spokane, Wash., White received a bachelor of science degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. He earned his Doctor of Medical Dentistry from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry in 2004 and in 2006 was awarded the certificate in orthodontics from the Medical College in Georgia.
In addition to his wife, White is survived by three daughters.