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Man awarded more than $42 million after 2017 crash with Tesla employee

A wooden judge gavel and soundboard isolated on white background. (Provided Photo/Oana Malaeru/500px/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Christopher Dugan was riding a motorcycle to work when a truck going the opposite direction made a left turn across double yellow lines and two lanes of traffic, and broadsided him, causing traumatic brain injuries and multiple bone fractures to Dugan. On Wednesday, an Indianapolis jury returned a verdict of more than $42 million against Tesla, Inc. and a long-time employee as a result, according to the Dugan’s family and a lawsuit named Tesla and one of its employees as defendants.

The verdict comes more than seven years after the 2017 crash.

The truck, a Ford Super Duty F-250 maintenance truck, was owned by Tesla and driven by an employee, identified in a lawsuit as Kyle Kaszuba, whom the complaint alleged drove the truck with Tesla’s permission or while he worked as a Tesla employee.

Dugan’s family said the crash left him with brain hemorrhage and fractures to his face, skull, rib, and legs, as well as pulmonary contusions and a wound that required his toe be amputed.

He is also permanent disfigured, according to Dugan’s family.

“Our family is forever grateful for the jury, who did what Tesla and Elon Musk refused to do for seven years – deliver justice to Chris. We cannot thank our legal team enough for never giving up and fighting for Chris, despite Tesla’s relentless refusals to accept any responsibility,” said Anna Marie, Chris’ mother.

“Today, Chris continues to suffer from severe cognitive dysfunction and the inability to fully communicate,” Dugan’s family said. “He is unable to manage his finances, care for himself or his daughter, work, or enjoy life in any meaningful way.”

CNBC reported the jury found Dugan was 30% liable for the crash.

Tesla’s attorneys had argued Kaszuba was not negligent and that Dugan was unable to be seen behind a vehicle he had been closely following, according to CNBC, citing Courtroom View Network.

Dugan’s attorneys said Elon Musk and Tesla had failed to “accept responsibility up to this point in time.”

“Tesla will likely not pay this jury verdict because Elon Musk has been personally making the decisions,” said Nicholas Rowley, one of the family’s attorneys.