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Family hit by pickup truck awarded $11.5 million by Hall County jury
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A family of three hit by a pickup truck in June 2013 at the Gainesville Wal-Mart were awarded $11.5 million in a personal injury lawsuit, one of the largest awards in the county’s history.

“We recognize that the jury took this type of conduct seriously, and I think they wanted to speak to that through their verdict,” attorney Mark Alexander said Wednesday.

Couple Amy and James Dunn and then 12-year-old daughter Danielle were struck by a truck in the crosswalk outside of the Shallowford Road Wal-Mart on June 7, 2013. Four years later, the Hall County State Court jury awarded damages in a civil case against defendant Ronald Patterson.

Patterson did not have an attorney on record with the Hall County Clerk of Courts, and an attempt by The Times to reach him through a phone number listed in the Hall County Comprehensive Justice Information System was unsuccessful.

Alexander and co-counsel Dan Sammons represented the family over the two-day trial, with the jury deliberating less than five minutes, according to a news release.

As a result of the crash, the family suffered physical and emotional distress, including a traumatic brain injury for Amy Dunn, according to the news release.

The plaintiffs were seeking $3 million in punitive damages, but the jury awarded $5 million. Another $6.5 million was awarded as compensatory damages.

Alexander said the family was “pleased with the jury’s result,” as they continue to cope with the injuries suffered four years ago.

According to the news release, the attorneys intend to pursue collection for the full amount from Patterson and “the various insurance companies who insured him and the truck he was driving.”

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