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Jury awards South Tampa family $30 million settlement following 2014 drunk driving crash

Posted at 12:01 AM, Aug 28, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Leon County jury awarded a Tampa family a multi-million dollar settlement stemming from a 2014 drunk driving crash that left a young woman with traumatic brain injuries.

Jackie Faircloth suffered severe brain injuries resulting in her inability to walk and talk. The former Plant High School cheerleader now needs a tube to breath and eat.

Her family filed a civil lawsuit against two Tallahassee-based bars for their role in the November 2014 crash.

A jury concluded that Potbelly's served one of its underage employees, Devon Dwyer, alcohol before he got behind the wheel and crashed into Faircloth. Dwyer drove away after the crash, but was later located and arrested.

The jury awarded Faircloth's family $30.8 million in damages. That money will help pay for her previous and future medical costs.

A family friend has used his shop's sign to remind drivers and customers to pray for Jackie.

“Tells you life can change in a second," said Kevin Burns, owner of Associated Watch & Jewelry Buyers. "You know, one minute everything is fine and then the next minute your whole life changes.”

His electronic sign outside the store on West Kennedy Boulevard has become a familiar sight for drivers. Burns says while the family's legal journey may be at its end, his sign isn't going anywhere.

"It makes me think about her everyday," said Burns. "We’re still praying for her, prayer works.”

ABC Action News reached out to the owner of Potbelly's for comment about the jury's verdict but has not heard back.