The wreck of an excursion train, pulled by the vintage Old 611 steam engine, resulted in another large jury verdict. The train had derailed in the Great Dismal Swamp, near the Chesapeake-Suffolk border. A jury voted to award $950,000 to Annie Harrell. Ms. Harrell was thrown from her seat in one of the classic coaches, tossed around and onto the floor, reported her lawyer, Willard Moody, Sr.
Defense attorneys had argued that she received only minor injuries. “Harrell, herself, did not immediately realize how seriously she had been hurt,” Moody argued. “She realized she had pain but not that she was seriously injured.” Moody said. During the next year, she began to have back problems. About a year after the wreck, she developed headaches and diagnosed with a brain tumor.
“It’s one of the first cases we’ve had with that particular set of circumstances where somebody has a tumor and it is aggravated and causes some pretty bad problems.”