Verdicts & Settlements

$5.5 Million Settlement

Tractor Trailer Accident

A rural mail carrier was struck from the rear by a tractor-trailer at a high rate of speed. The plaintiff was rendered a paraplegic by the wreck and also lost sight in her right eye. Her husband pursued a claim for loss of consortium. The driver of the tractor truck had a substantial criminal record. Attached to the tractor truck was a trailer that had been leased by Defendant Motor Carrier and provided to the truck’s Owner-Operator for use in hauling its loads. Motor Carrier attempted to avoid liability by arguing it was an “exempt” carrier from the FMCSR, and that the Owner-Operator operated as an independent contractor under its own DOT authority. Motor Carrier filed for summary judgment. At the hearing, we argued that Defendant Motor Carrier’s Agreement’s language with the Owner-Operator violated federal regulations; further, that Motor Carrier was still liable for the acts of independent contractors pursuant to federal regulations and case law. Summary Judgment was denied, and the case settled soon thereafter.


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