Quadriplegic wins nearly $42 million in Palmdale crash verdict

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LOS ANGELES – A 27-year-old man who was left a quadriplegic following a 2015 auto accident in Palmdale won a nearly $42 million civil judgment, his attorneys announced Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Superior Court jury decided Monday that Samantha Schilling, who was driving the car that crashed into a vehicle carrying Anthony Taylor, must pay $41.6 million to the former Antelope Valley native, who suffered a broken neck in the collision.

“Our client never had it easy,” plaintiff’s attorney R. Rex Parris said. “He was born with developmental disabilities and was given up for adoption. Thankfully, he found a home where he was loved and cared for.”

Prior to the crash, Taylor worked, had a fiancee and was entirely self-sufficient despite his disabilities, said Alexander R. Wheeler, another of the plaintiff’s attorneys.  “This young man overcame all odds to only fall victim to the careless actions of another driver,” Wheeler said.

Taylor’s court papers stated that on Dec. 19, 2015, Taylor, his fiancee and her mother were leaving the Antelope Valley Mall after shopping for some last-minute Christmas gifts. The collision happened at Avenue O and 15th Street West when Schilling drove away from a two-way stop sign and into the path of the car in which Taylor was riding, according to his lawsuit.

“Samantha told police at the scene the last thing she remembers before the crash was texting on her cell phone,” according to court papers submitted by Taylor’s attorneys.

Schilling admitted responsibility for the accident, so jurors were tasked with deciding Taylor’s damages, according to his attorneys.

“While money will not make him whole again, this groundbreaking verdict will go a long way toward improving his living conditions,” Parris said.

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