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Woman wins $1M jury award in car crash caused by brother

By Alex Finkelstein

An Orange Circuit Court jury has awarded a 31-year-old Orlando woman $1 million for injuries she received in a 1995 auto accident in which her brother was the driver - but she lost $177,085 of the award because she did not fasten her seat belt.

The jury recommended deducting $177,085, or 15 percent, from the $1,180,572 awarded to Christina Harris. But, says her Winter Park attorney, Russell Troutman of Troutman, Williams, Irvin, Green & Helms, she isn't complaining. "She walked away with $1,003,486," says Troutman.

A company car driven by Harris' 28-year-old brother, Edward Ray Harris II, struck a utility pole at 2:20 a.m. in 1995 on Chipola Circle in Orlando.

Christina Harris suffered numerous physical injuries but has returned to her job as a check inspector with Clarke American Co. Edward Harris also recovered from his injuries.

On Aug. 15, a jury hearing in Judge A. Walter Komanski's courtroom ruled Edward Harris was 85 percent responsible for the accident.

Harris' employer, Inter Mobile Inc. of Georgia, has assumed legal responsibility for his accident (Case No. CI 96-5084-35).

Aug. 22, 1997
Orlando Business Journal