The accident that gave rise to the case occurred when Benetta Buell-Wilson was driving east on an interstate in San Diego, CA in 2002. She swerved to avoid an object in the road, and the vehicle rolled, collapsing the roof. The injury to her neck caused permanent paralysis from the waist down, reports the Associated Press.
Initially, Ms. Buell-Wilson was awarded $369 million by a jury, but that amount was subsequently reduced twice upon review. The latest amount is final, and the review stands in the face of an earlier Supreme Court decision which had overturned an award of $79.5 million in punitive damages against a tobacco company.