A jury in Norfolk Circuit Court awarded $1.5 million to a Norfolk Southern employee who suffered a broken leg in an accident at the Portlock yard in Portsmouth. The employee was hurt in June 1992 when he drove a tractor onto a flatbed trailer and it fell off the side of the trailer as a result of alleged defective brakes, said his attorney, Willard J. Moody, Sr.
Because of the injury, the employee could not return to work, Moody said, and he asked the jury for $489,000 in lost wages, plus $1 million for pain and suffering. The trial lasted five days. The jury deliberated three hours, then awarded Jackson the full amount he requested. It was the third million-dollar verdict that year awarded to a plaintiff represented by Willard J. Moody, Sr. In May of that year, a Portsmouth jury awarded $1.8 million to a railroad brakeman who suffered hearing loss on the job. In January, a previous Portsmouth jury awarded $1 million to a railroad brakeman hurt on the job.