CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A Vietnam Veteran dragged by a moving vehicle as his car got repossessed in the middle of the night. Now after a lengthy trial, he's been rewarded more than $350,000.
When the door bell rings at 3:45 in the morning, chances are the news isn't going to be good. In the case of Daniel Smith, it almost cost him his life when he says he was dragged by a moving vehicle and the driver refused to stop.
Daniel Smith served in the Vietnam war, as a highly skilled sniper.
"My job most of the time was to stop convoys on the Ho Chi Minh trail into South Vietnam," said Smith.
Now he lives in Southwest Florida. Back in 2006 he purchased a car, but a mistake with his payments nearly cost him his life.
"The loan was actually sold from one bank to another. I think the mix up happened then," said Smith.
At 3:45 in the morning, Smith's doorbell rang. His car was being reposessed. Smith went out to the car to claim his belongings. Without his cane by his side he leaned on the car for support.
"I realized my arm, or my wrist was wedged between the door and the mirror and I couldn't get it free," he said.
With his car hooked up to the tow truck, the driver took off dragging Smith along with him.
"He wasn't stopping," Smith said. "I was screaming at the top of my lungs, please stop! Stop!"
Finally, the mirror broke off and he was set free. With injured feet and a broken hip, he took the reposession company to court. The judge sided with Smith, awarding him nearly $360,000.00.
His legal representation, David Durkee of Roberts and Durkee says the reposession company could appeal.
WINK News spoke with the attorney of the repossesion company. They would not comment in length on the case but do say, the company has a fundamentel disagreetment with the outcome of this case. While the company respects the jury's decission, it will be looking at all post verdict options.
"I wanted vindication," said Smith. "I wanted my day in court to prove that I didn't do anything wrong."