'Reptile Theory' Claim Can’t Cut $27M Road Rage Crash Award

Law360 (October 11, 2019, 10:21 PM EDT) -- An Oregon federal judge on Friday declined to trim a jury's $26.5 million verdict against two transportation companies and their drivers for causing a fatal highway road-rage incident, rejecting one company's argument that victims' counsel improperly invoked the "reptile theory" trial technique to sway the jury.

In a post-trial ruling, U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan affirmed the federal jury's verdict in favor of Matthew Allison and the estate of the deceased Sara Allison, finding that the negligence of RV-transportation company Horizon Transport Inc. driver Jonathan Hogaboom and trucking company Smoot Brothers Transportation drivers James Decou and Peter Barnes caused the fatal...

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