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$3,050,000 settlement to widow after trucking accident

Amount: $3,050,000
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Dana M. Paris & David M. Paris

Defendant was a commercial driver operating a commercial vehicle on a 70 mph state route in rural Northeast Ohio. His Ford F 550 was trailering a load of drywall weighing 7,700 lbs. The state route had 2 northbound lanes and 2 southbound lanes, separated by a grassy median strip. It was winter and although the roadway was clear, the median was snowy, damp and muddy. The defendant lost control of his truck and ended up stuck in the mud. He called his boss for guidance and was told to sit tight and a towing service would be called. He called back to tell the driver that the tower would be about 60-90 minutes. The driver then flagged down a good Samaritan in a pick- up truck and asked if he had straps to pull him out. The driver called his boss who, without asking about the training or qualifications of the good Samaritan, gave his consent to proceed. The rear of the disabled truck was strapped to the front of the good Samaritan’s truck. He then slowly traveled in reverse partially on the berm and the roadway closest to the median in a southbound direction while in the northbound lanes. Contrary to the discussed plan, the driver placed the disabled truck from neutral to reverse and began to gun the engine and spin the rear wheels. When the wheels contacted the asphalt berm, his truck catapulted across the first lane into the second lane directly into our client’s northbound vehicle. Our client was pronounced dead at the scene. He left surviving a wife and minor son. The defense argued that our client was comparatively negligent based on his speed, his failure to slow and alcohol in his system.

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