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Recent trucking accident jury verdicts

Here’s a roundup of recent news stories about truck accident jury verdicts around the United States:

$87 million in Dallas, Texas, for a man paralyzed in a wreck in a U-Haul truck had faulty emergency break and worn down gears.

$36.3 million ($23.1 million compensatory damages, $13.5 million in punitive damages) in Phoenix, Arizona, for death of father of 8 who was killed when a tractor trailer drove 65 mph across three sets of rumble strips designed to warn of an approaching stop sign, ran the stop sign, and crashed into his SUV. The truck driver’s logs, which are required by federal regulations to document compliance with hours of service rules, were “lost.” The truck driver had no explanation why he failed to slow down. The jury apparently figured out that the trucking company “lost” the driver logs to conceal a pattern of violating fatigue prevention regulations, as it awarded $13.5 million in punitive damages on top of the $23.1 million in compensatory damages.

$29.4 million for wrongful death and personal injury in Orange County, NY. The crash occurred on Jan. 25, 2002, when a freight container on a northbound flatbed trailer smashed into the bottom of the Pleasant Hill Road overpass. A family SUV en route to a ski vacation swerved to avoid the wreckage of the exploding container and was broadsided by another tractor-trailer. The father in the SUV suffered fatal internal injuries and the teenage daughter was also injured.

$20.1 Million verdict in Clayton County, Georgia, for wrongful death of a 62 year old school teacher who suffered broken ribs when he was rear-ended by an electrical supply truck while stopped at a red light. While hospitalized he developed complications, aspirated and died.

$11.23 million verdict in Nebraska for man struck by tractor trailer in dense fog on icy interstate highway, reduced by 20% for comparative negligence.

$5.64 million verdict in El Centro, California in case where farm truck ran stop sign and struck family minivan. A 15 year old girl in the van suffered facial avulsion degloving (that is, the flesh of her face was torn off), and several fractures to her face and skull.

Ken Shigley in Atlanta is a former chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute. He is a seminar speaker for the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and is on the National Advisory Board and serves as a seminar speaker for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America. A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he is also a Master of the Lamar Inn of Court at Emory Law School, and Secretary of the State Bar of Georgia. He represents plaintiffs in big rig crash cases all over Georgia, from Menlo to Midway, and from Tallulah Falls to Doerun.

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