Confidential - Tractor-Trailer Crash - Catastrophic Burn Injuries / Wrongful Death

Outcome:  $15,000,000.00

Description: Mr. Houghton was brought in as co-counsel in a disputed liability tractor-trailer death case in which the Plaintiff's decedent was the rear-striking vehicle in an early morning wreck. The Defendant truck driver had pulled over near an overpass during the darkest part of the early morning hours to attempt to re-set his ELD hours. He was dispatched at a time when he was showing he was completely out of hours. While the Defendant was attempting to merge back into the roadway, Plaintiff's decedent struck the rear of the tractor-trailer causing a significant fuel-fed fire from Plaintiff's punctured diesel tank. Plaintiff's decedent passed away after a significant struggle with catastrophic burn injuries.

After extensive discovery, it was determined that the Defendant driver's chassis lights had not been illuminated while merging over the fogline. We obtained this evidence from both scene witness testimony and expert hot shock analysis. This case settled a month after an unsuccessful mediation with the primary and multiple layers of excess coverage being tendered. Plaintiff's decedent was survived by his widow and their sweet 2 year old daughter who was a newborn at the time of the wreck. Suit was filed in a small rural Georgia county, and the settlement is a record for that venue.