Paralyzed Rankin Co. girl awarded $52M dollars - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Paralyzed Rankin Co. girl awarded $52M dollars

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Graceyn at Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital after the crash. Graceyn at Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital after the crash.
Tonya Gann is serving a 40-year sentence. (Source: MDOC) Tonya Gann is serving a 40-year sentence. (Source: MDOC)
Graceyn Thrailkill was 4 years old when her family's van was hit by a drunk driver on Shiloh Road. Graceyn Thrailkill was 4 years old when her family's van was hit by a drunk driver on Shiloh Road.
RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Rankin County girl left paralyzed in a 2008 accident has been awarded $52 million by a jury.  Graceyn Thrailkill was 4 years old when her family's van was hit by a drunk driver on Shiloh Road.

Edward Blackmon is one of the attorneys who represented Graceyn in a trial that started Sept. 3 and ended Thursday. Blackmon says it only took the jury an hour to reach a decision in the case against Dorel Juvenile Group -- the company that made the booster seat Graceyn was in.

Blackmon says the seat didn't meet federal safety standards and the company knew it. 

Blackmon told Mississippi News Now Friday night the company switched to a cheaper material to reinforce the back of the seat instead of a steel rod that could have given Graceyn and other children better protection.

"I suspect that they spent a lot of money in trying to defend this company. Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on experts, and you look back and the steel rod that I mentioned that was taken out, the steel rod cost 15 cents," Blackmon said.

Graceyn Thrailkill is now 9 years old.

Tonya Gann, the drunk driver who hit the family, is serving a 40-year sentence.

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