Truck Accident Lawsuit

Truck accident lawsuit updates from around the United States.

Truck Accident Lawsuit Update: Texas Jury Awards $730m in Truck Accident Death, One of the Largest Wrongful-Death Verdicts Ever

November 29, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

On February 21, 2016, 73-year-old great-grandmother Toni Combest was driving in Titus County, Texas. At the same time and in the same area, an oversize-cargo truck operated by Landstar Ranger, Inc. was hauling the 100-ton propeller of a U.S. Navy nuclear submarine. As the driver of the oversize-cargo truck attempted to navigate a narrow bridge along US Highway 271, the truck veered from its lane, hitting Mrs. Combest’s vehicle while traveling roughly 65 miles per hour. Mrs. Combest died at the scene from injuries sustained in the accident.  

Now, more than five years later, the family of Mrs. Combest has received some degree of justice, with a Texas state-court jury awarding them $730 million dollars in total damages, including $480 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages. The two verdicts were announced Friday, November 19 and Monday, November 22, respectively.    

The total verdict amounts to what is perhaps the largest wrongful-death verdict in United States history
However, the verdict was not even against the company responsible for the wide-load truck itself or the driver, with the sole remaining defendant at the trial being 2A Pilot Cars, which employed the driver of the front escort vehicle. (Landstar Ranger, Inc. settled the case for $50 million while the case was on the verge of jury selection, and the employer of the rear escort driver—S&M Pilot Service—settled for $1 million, also as the trial neared.)  

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an automobile accident, contact TheLawFirm.com for a free legal consultation!  

Sources:  

Capriel, Jonathan. (23 November 2021). Jury Awards $730M To Kin Of Driver Killed In Wide-Load Crash. Law 360  

Marigny, Diante and Michael Fowler. (22 November 2021). Family of East Texas woman killed in truck crash receives $730 million in wrongful death lawsuit. KETK

Truck Accident Lawsuit Update: Texas Jury Awards $352m in Tarmac Van Crash Case

November 11, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

On October 25, a jury in Harris County, Texas awarded a man paralyzed when he was struck by a van on an airport tarmac and his family $352 million in damages, finding that the negligence of the driver of the van and his employer was responsible for the tragic accident.   

The incident in question occurred on the morning of September 7, 2019, when United Airlines employee Ulysses D. Cruz—a so-called “wing walker”—was carrying out his duties at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.   

“One of the jobs of a wing walker is to walk behind each wingtip, near the rear of an airplane, as the airplane is being towed back from the gate, to make sure that the wings and the airplane are clear of any obstructions,” explains the lawsuit later filed by Cruz and his family. “Wing walkers, who wear bright yellow vests and hold bright orange wands, are also a signal to any vehicles operating within the airport operations area to stop because an aircraft is departing from the gate. All vehicles within the airport operations area must yield to aircraft.”   

At the same time, a van owned by Allied Aviation and being driven by Allied Aviation employee Reginald Willis was in the immediate vicinity, travelling above the allowable speed limit and outside the designated roadway. Willis, momentarily blinded by the sun, struck Ulysses Cruz, which “threw him many feet and into the concrete, causing serious and extensive injuries to Ulysses,” in the words of the lawsuit later filed on Ulysses’ behalf.     

Ulysses’ extensive injuries included brain injury, stroke, and paraplegia, or paralysis of the lower body. In the following months, Ulysses Cruz’s wife Cecilia sued on behalf of herself, her husband, and two of their children.   

While the circumstances of the case—taking place on the tarmac of a busy international airport in the vicinity of massive airliners—are somewhat unique, the plaintiff emphasizes in her lawsuit that, at its core, the case involved an automobile striking a person.   

“To be clear, this is an auto/pedestrian collision case,” the lawsuit plainly states in the course of detailing the facts.   

Cecilia Cruz alleged that both the driver Willis and his employer were negligent in causing the accident, Willis because he failed to operate the vehicle with appropriate care and Allied Fueling Houston because it breached its duty to properly train and oversee its drivers.   

In the verdict issued October 25, a jury agreed, awarding the Cruz family $352 million in damages after finding that Allied Aviation was 70% at fault and Reginald Willis was 30% to blame, while absolving both Ulysses Cruz and United Airlines of any responsibility for the incident.   

The monetary damages were awarded as followed:   

For Ulysses Cruz:
1 Past physical pain - $15 million
2 Past mental anguish - $15 million
3 Future physical pain - $30 million
4 Future mental anguish - $70 million
5 Past physical impairment - $15 million
6 Future physical impairment - $35 million
7 Past disfigurement - $10 million
8 Future disfigurement - $22.5 million
9 Past medical expenses - $2 million
10 Future medical expenses - $30 million
11 Past loss of earnings - $290,000
12 Future loss of earnings - $2.6 million   

For Cecilia Cruz, wife of Ulysses Cruz:
1 Past loss of household services - $32,000
2 Future loss of household services - $100,000
3 Past loss of consortium - $150,000
4 Future loss of consortium - $25 million   

For S. Cruz, minor child of Ulysses Cruz:
1 Past loss of parental consortium – $50,000
2 Future loss of parental consortium - $20 million   

For Angelo Cruz, child of Ulysses Cruz:
1 Past loss of parental consortium - $50,000
2 Future loss of parental consortium - $20 million   

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident that was somebody else’s fault, contact TheLawFirm.com for a free legal consultation!   

Sources:   

District Court of Harris County 127th Judicial District. (25 October 2021). Charge of the Court. Cause No. 2019-81830. Cecilia Cruz, Individually and as Representative of Ulysses D. Cruz and S. Cruz, a minor and Angelo G. Cruz v. Allied Aviation Fueling Company of Houston, Inc. and Reginald Willis   

District Court of Harris County 270th Judicial District. (26 February 2021). Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Petition. Cause No. 2019-81830. Cecilia Cruz, Individually and as Representative of Ulysses D. Cruz and S. Cruz, a minor and Angelo G. Cruz v. Allied Aviation Fueling Company of Houston, Inc. and Reginald Willis

Truck Accident Lawsuit Update: Texas Jury Awards $30m to Sons of Father Killed in FedEx Truck Crash

November 1, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

On Friday, October 15, a Houston-based jury found FedEx and its driver responsible for the death of a father killed in a 2018 head-on collision, awarding the victim’s two sons $30 million in damages, the publication FreightWaves reported.  

The accident occurred at roughly 1:30 am during heavy rain on US Highway 59 outside Tenaha, Texas. The victim, Joseph Cargal, was driving for the company XPO Logistics, traveling north along the four-lane highway while a FedEx freight truck was approaching from the opposite direction. At that location, the highway lacks a center divider or median, and the FedEx truck drifted into oncoming traffic, where the FedEx truck struck Cargal’s vehicle head-on at high speed. Cargal was pronounced dead at the scene, having suffered severe burns and blunt force trauma.  

Investigators later determined from dashcam footage that the FedEx driver had been traveling at an excessive rate of speed for the conditions, FreightWaves reported. The FedEx Freight truck was carrying a load of roughly 135,000 pounds at the time of the crash.  

Ultimately, the Texas jurors found that the FedEx Freight driver was 49% responsible and FedEx itself was 51% responsible for the accident, with the blame falling on FedEx for a failure to adequately train and supervise the driver.  

In the end, the lawyer for the victim’s two sons did not express surprise at the jury’s verdict or the size of the monetary compensation awarded, but rather that FedEx had decided not to settle the case prior to trial.  

The case with the victims two sons “only went to verdict because the risk was miscalculated by FedEx Freight,” the sons’ lawyer reportedly said. “The evidence was there all along. Most of our large trucking cases settle well before a jury sees the evidence.”  

In fact, Cargal’s wife previously had reached a settlement with her deceased husband’s employer, XPO Logistics, and its insurers.  

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or truck accident that was not your fault, contact TheLawFirm.com today for a free consultation!  

Source:  

Kingston, John. (19 October 2021). Fatal collision in Texas leads to $30m verdict against FedEx Freight. FreightWaves

Truck Accident Lawsuit Update: Construction, Trucking Companies Sued After Fatal South Carolina Interstate Pileup

October 21, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

After a seven-car pileup killed three individuals along a stretch of Interstate 85 that was undergoing construction in South Carolina last July, the victims and their families have sued not only the tractor-trailer driver alleged to have caused the accident and his employer, but also the construction companies that created what the Cherokee County Coroner has called a “death trap” along the stretch of roadway where the accident occurred, the local publication The State has reported.

The accident occurred on July 15, 2021, when a number of motorists were stuck in gridlock within what highway engineers call a “chute”, meaning a stretch of roadway intentionally narrowed by means of concrete barriers intended to separate motorists and their vehicles from ongoing construction work. At the time, workers were executing a portion of a multi-year, $830-million I-85 widening project.

As the jam-packed vehicles on I-85 sat relatively motionless with no room to maneuver, a truck traveling at high speed smashed into the rear of the line of stopped vehicles. The data sensors on one vehicle in which a passenger was killed showed the car accelerating from 0 mph to 60 mph in the moment it was struck, The State reported.

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler blames the design and implementation of so-called “chutes”, going against other public officials by insisting that the use of such areas during construction is unacceptably dangerous.

“While state officials have endorsed [chutes] at two separate public meetings in Gaffney, I disagree with their being safe for motorists,” Fowler said in a press release issued after the July 15 accident, as quoted by The State.

Fowler further has cited the chute’s 60 mph speed limit as being far too fast, while also blaming the Palmetto State’s highway patrol for not adequately enforcing a law that bans large trucks from passing through chutes.

An engineer hired to submit an affidavit on behalf of the plaintiffs echoed Fowler’s views, saying the speed limit was too high and the truck exclusion was not sufficiently enforced.

Critics further argue that the narrow design of chutes makes it more difficult for first responders to reach victims in the event of an accident.

For its part, the South Carolina Highway Patrol has not yet completed the full report detailing the results of its investigation. The final report is expected to be released sometime in October.

While it is common for victims of car and truck accidents to sue the offending driver and, where applicable, their employer and the vehicle’s owner, it is somewhat less common for plaintiffs also to sue construction companies in vehicular accident cases. However, a lawsuit filed Tuesday, September 28 by Thomas Goggins, who suffered injuries himself while losing his wife in the incident, named three construction firms as defendants.

While some vehicular accidents might seem like straight-forward, open-and-shut cases, such cases often contain legal complexities and factual nuance that can be unfamiliar to non-experts. This makes it essential to have a knowledgeable, dedicated lawyer on your side. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car or truck accident, contact TheLawFirm.com today for a free legal consultation!

Source:

Riddle, Lyn. (29 September 2021). ‘Death trap.’ Trucker, others being sued after 3 die in 7-car pileup on SC interstate. The State

Truck Accident Lawsuit Update: Construction, Trucking Companies Sued After Fatal South Carolina Interstate Pileup

October 21, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

After a seven-car pileup killed three individuals along a stretch of Interstate 85 that was undergoing construction in South Carolina last July, the victims and their families have sued not only the tractor-trailer driver alleged to have caused the accident and his employer, but also the construction companies that created what the Cherokee County Coroner has called a “death trap” along the stretch of roadway where the accident occurred, the local publication The State has reported.

The accident occurred on July 15, 2021, when a number of motorists were stuck in gridlock within what highway engineers call a “chute”, meaning a stretch of roadway intentionally narrowed by means of concrete barriers intended to separate motorists and their vehicles from ongoing construction work. At the time, workers were executing a portion of a multi-year, $830-million I-85 widening project.

As the jam-packed vehicles on I-85 sat relatively motionless with no room to maneuver, a truck traveling at high speed smashed into the rear of the line of stopped vehicles. The data sensors on one vehicle in which a passenger was killed showed the car accelerating from 0 mph to 60 mph in the moment it was struck, The State reported.

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler blames the design and implementation of so-called “chutes”, going against other public officials by insisting that the use of such areas during construction is unacceptably dangerous.

“While state officials have endorsed [chutes] at two separate public meetings in Gaffney, I disagree with their being safe for motorists,” Fowler said in a press release issued after the July 15 accident, as quoted by The State.

Fowler further has cited the chute’s 60 mph speed limit as being far too fast, while also blaming the Palmetto State’s highway patrol for not adequately enforcing a law that bans large trucks from passing through chutes.

An engineer hired to submit an affidavit on behalf of the plaintiffs echoed Fowler’s views, saying the speed limit was too high and the truck exclusion was not sufficiently enforced.

Critics further argue that the narrow design of chutes makes it more difficult for first responders to reach victims in the event of an accident.

For its part, the South Carolina Highway Patrol has not yet completed the full report detailing the results of its investigation. The final report is expected to be released sometime in October.

While it is common for victims of car and truck accidents to sue the offending driver and, where applicable, their employer and the vehicle’s owner, it is somewhat less common for plaintiffs also to sue construction companies in vehicular accident cases. However, a lawsuit filed Tuesday, September 28 by Thomas Goggins, who suffered injuries himself while losing his wife in the incident, named three construction firms as defendants.

While some vehicular accidents might seem like straight-forward, open-and-shut cases, such cases often contain legal complexities and factual nuance that can be unfamiliar to non-experts. This makes it essential to have a knowledgeable, dedicated lawyer on your side. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car or truck accident, contact TheLawFirm.com today for a free legal consultation!

Source:

Riddle, Lyn. (29 September 2021). ‘Death trap.’ Trucker, others being sued after 3 die in 7-car pileup on SC interstate. The State

Reasons you may need a truck accident lawyer:

Important!

Remember, whether you are the driver or the passenger when involved in an accident you may be entitled to financial compensation. Let one of our experienced accident lawyers tell you what your options are. The consultation is always Free.

Auto Accident - To Do List

There are items you need to take care of after you've been involved in any auto accident. See our What To Do After An Accident and Things To Avoid After An Accident resource pages if you've been involved in an auto accident.

You Get Paid or You Don’t Pay! Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer Now

We realize that truck accidents can happen at any time. That’s why we’re ready to help you get the legal guidance you need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether you were the driver, the passenger or a pedestrian, our truck accident lawyers are ready to help. Remember, you have nothing to lose. Either you get paid, or you don’t pay at all!

Call To Speak With An Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer:
1-855-464-0808

Free Consultation

Related Articles

About TLF

picture of thelawfirm.com staff

About TheLawFirm.com (TLF)

TheLawFirm.com is a group of award winning attorneys, paralegals and associates from the legal profession who’s main goal is to educate and represent their clients with the utmost expertise, respect and trust.

We also work closely with a large group of experts from the medical profession so we can draw upon their expertise, in order to present as much accurate information relating to various mass tort and personal injury lawsuits as we can.

Call Us Now For A Free consultation