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Jury finds oil field company liable for $20M in crash lawsuit that paralyzed driver

Jurors found an oil field company responsible for more than $20 million in damages for a driver who was paralyzed by a 2017 DeWitt County farm road crash.

According to their verdict handed down Tuesday, Stallion Production Services is liable for $20,072,954.54 to Yorktown resident Lloyd Kulik, 37.

Stallion, which has offices in Victoria, Kenedy and Ganado, did not return phone calls requesting comment.

District Judge Bobby Bell presided over the two-week trial.

“You can’t drive an 18-wheeler with this disregard,” said Cuero attorney Ray Reese, who represented Kulik with attorneys from the national personal injury firm Perdue and Kidd.

Attorneys for Kulik said Rodney Simmons, the tractor-trailer driver employed by Stallion, crashed into his pickup as the man attempted to legally pass on Farm-to-Market Road 108, causing Kulik to lose control about 11:30 p.m. March 30, 2017.

“Although Kulik was already in the passing lane and in the process of passing, Rodney Simmons entered Mr. Kulik’s lane in an attempt to make a left turn ... the impact caused Mr. Kulik’s vehicle to flip, resulting in severe injuries to all persons in the vehicle,” according to Kulik’s lawsuit.

Although jurors awarded a total of $40,145,909.07 to Kulik, which DeWitt County District Clerk officials confirmed was a record-setting award, they also found him 50% liable for damages. That shared liability means Stallion will be required to pay half of the award to Kulik.

Perdue and Kidd spokesman Brett Rodriguez said Kulik became a quadriplegic as a result of the crash, resulting in past and future medical bills as well as a significant loss in earning potential.

Atreyu Muniz, a 24-year-old Yorktown resident who was riding in Kulik’s pickup, also suffered serious injuries that included permanent brain damage, said his attorney, Michael Sheppard.

“He’s going to suffer the effects of that collision for the rest of his life,” Sheppard said.

Jurors awarded Muniz $4,479,517, finding Kulik 45% liable, Stallion 45% liable and Muniz himself 10% liable.

Three other occupants of Kulik’s pickup who were named as co-plaintiffs reached settlements before trial, said Charlie Webb, who represented Muniz. Webb declined to reveal how much those settlements totaled.

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