DOTHAN, Ala (WDHN)— A Nashville jury has awarded $20.7 million to the families of two teenagers who were killed in a 2014 shipwreck allegedly caused by their employer, Mikel Knight.
According to a press release from Morris, Andrews, Talmadge and Driggers, LLC, in 2014 teenagers Taylor Nixon, 19, and Robert Underfinger, 18, were killed in a car accident while working for the ” Country Rap King” self-proclaimed Jason Cross. , stage name Mikel Knight. Both were part of the Maverick Dirt Road Street Team (MDRST), a team that sold CDs and merchandise in parking lots across the country.
The lawsuit alleges the crash occurred after the driver of a pickup truck, owned by Cross, fell asleep at the wheel after suffering extreme driver fatigue from working conditions. The crash resulted in the deaths of Nixon and Underfinger.
The plaintiffs and other young men between the ages of 19 and 25 had to work long hours and travel many miles a day for the benefit of Mikel Knight.
Morris, Andrews, Talmadge and Driggers, LLC Press Release
The verdicts said $3,006,937 would be paid to Taylor Nixon’s mother and $2,711,638 to Robert Underfinger’s mother.
The jury found that Jason Cross (aka Mikel Knight) was grossly negligent in his company’s hiring, training, supervision and delegation practices that led to the deaths of Nixon and Underfinger, and awarded punitive damages of $15,000,000.
This case involved numerous delays due to COVID, Mikel Knight changing attorneys, procedural issues, seeking witnesses and taking numerous depositions, but in the end, it was worth seeing the mothers’ satisfaction that a jury finally holds Mikel Knight accountable.
Dothan’s attorney, Joseph “Joey” Morris
The families were represented by Joseph “Joey” Morris, Esq of Morris, Andrews, Talmadge and Driggers, LLC in Dothan. Their co-lawyer was Tracy Cary, Esq of Birmingham, and William Hickey, Esq of Nashville Tennessee.
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