Comcast to pay Gwinnett family $19M after crash leads to great-grandfather’s death

The family of Amos Entrekin was awarded $19 million after a fatal crash in 2021 involving a Comcast worker.

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

The family of Amos Entrekin was awarded $19 million after a fatal crash in 2021 involving a Comcast worker.

For nearly two years, Amos Entrekin was completely bedridden.

The once healthy 76-year-old retired man, who was a father figure to some of his great-grandchildren, lost the ability to do everything for himself after a Comcast work van crashed into him as he was driving with his great-grandchild in 2021.

On Thursday, a Gwinnett County jury ordered Comcast to pay Entrekin’s family nearly $19 million.

“This is a man who was healthy prior to this crash — was totally independent,” family attorney Hector Rojas with Morgan & Morgan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

On June 30, 2021, Entrekin was driving home with his great-grandson through the intersection of Ellis Street and Dallas Highway when the driver of a Comcast van barreled through a red light in Douglasville, Rojas said. The employee, who was going 55 mph in a 45-mph zone, struck Entrekin’s Dodge Caravan, Rojas added. The collision caused Entrekin’s vehicle to flip over and roll off the road before crashing into a utility box.

Entrekin suffered countless injuries, including fractured vertebrae and ribs, a broken hand, head lacerations and a severe traumatic brain injury. He spent six days in a medically induced coma and two weeks in the hospital before having to undergo rehabilitation and therapy.

“When he woke up out of that induced coma, he just wasn’t the same,” Rojas explained. “He could barely talk, didn’t really have the concentration he needed to have, obviously couldn’t walk, couldn’t change himself, couldn’t use the restroom himself, couldn’t do anything himself.”

As time progressed, attorneys said Entrekin never recovered from his injuries and died in March 2023 at 78 years old. The family told Rojas that Entrekin had a strong will to live, adding that he was the victim of an attempted robbery in 2019 in Douglasville and was able to get away from the suspect unharmed.

“Slowly but surely, you could just see the decline physically. He’s just getting skinnier. He was deteriorating in real time. He was essentially turning into all bones,” Rojas said.

Morgan & Morgan initially filed a personal injury claim against Comcast in January 2022, but Rojas said they weren’t able to resolve the claim and agree on monetary compensation, which is what eventually led to the trial. During the trial, which began Oct. 30 and ended Nov. 2, Rojas said Comcast withdrew their causation defense and admitted they were liable for the crash after hearing arguments from Rojas and other family attorneys.

According to Rojas, Comcast is legally responsible for all damages that the employee, who was a defendant in the case and identified as Sylvain Emmanuel-Mukete, caused while he was in the scope of his employment. At the time of the crash, the driver was in uniform, in a Comcast vehicle and driving to a job, Rojas confirmed.

The $19 million includes more than $450,000 for medical expenses, $7 million for the full value of Entrekin’s life and $11.5 million for the pain and suffering he endured for the 21 months after the crash. The amount awarded was a number the jury decided on, though Rojas explained that both parties made suggestions.

“The evidence that we used to support pain and suffering is all the medical records. There were over 18,000 pages of medical records in this case,” Rojas said.

But Entrekin, who worked for General Motors putting together their many vehicles for about 25 years, wasn’t the only one suffering after the crash. Rojas said Entrekin’s great-grandson who was with him in the car also filed a case against Comcast, but Morgan & Morgan is not handling that lawsuit.

Rojas said that if Entrekin were still alive, he would likely just be worrying about his great-grandkids. He was usually the one driving them to and from school, accompanying them to church on Sundays and taking them to a restaurant.

“He was full of life and joy, and everybody cared for him, and he made an impact on many people’s lives,” Rojas said.