Jury seated in trial for sunbather run over on Volusia County beach

Erin Joynt says she suffered permanent injuries

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. - The jury has been seated on Monday in the civil trial of a woman who says an accident along the sand left her with permanent brain damage.

The six-person jury, along with two alternate jurors, were seated just before 5 p.m. Monday. Opening statements will start on Tuesday at 11 a.m. The jury consists of five women and three men.

About 90 prospective jurors heard Judge Robert Rouse Jr. read a statement about the case, and attorneys were expected to question jurors through most of the day.

The case got national attention after, Erin Joynt, who did not speak to the media while heading into court, had her head injured by a beach patrol lifeguard's truck in 2011.  She is now she's suing Volusia county for major damages.

Joynt, visiting Daytona Beach Shores while on vacation with her family from Kansas, was sleeping on the beach when a lifeguard hit her with his patrol truck. Joynt later told a national TV audience she was left with permanent injuries, including facial paralysis, hearing loss and the inability to smile.

"I'm not feeling a whole lot on my face itself on that side," said Joynt.

The lifeguard who hit her was making a U-turn, but Joynt's attorneys told Local 6 in the months after the crash, he believes it could have been prevented.

"The beach tower is right there.  If he had radioed over, 'Is anyone in my way?' this could have been avoided," said attorney John Phillips.

After the crash, the beach patrol, now called Beach Safety Ocean Rescue, started phasing out pickup trucks.  Cameras were installed in the trucks that remained to try to increase the driver's view.

But Joynt said that's not enough.

"I'd like to go with the fact that mistakes happen, but in all we have to be responsible for our actions, and I feel there should be some outcome here," she said.

It's not known exactly how much money Joynt is looking to get from the county, but it could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The county has already agreed to pay her husband and children about $150,000 for emotional distress.

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