Confidential - Tractor-Trailer Crash - Multiple Claimant Severe Injuries

Outcome:  $2,395,000.00 (Aggregate settlement amount for both clients)

Description: Mr. Houghton was associated as co-counsel in this difficult liability case in which the Plaintiffs struck the rear of a tractor-trailer that had significant mechanical issues while on the roadway. The initial accident report indicated that the Plaintiff, who was driving a non-commercial passenger vehicle, had taken her eyes off the roadway to change radio stations when her vehicle came upon the tractor-trailer that had powered down on the highway and was traveling at low-speeds. Both clients sustained severe compound fractures to multiple bones in their legs which may have been exacerbated by their failure to wear their seatbelts.

Initially, this case appeared to be one in which no liability could be assigned to the tractor-trailer driver or the motor carrier. However, after taking depositions in multiple states of company personnel for the motor carrier, it became clear that the company was aware of the exact same turbo issue that was contributing to the power loss of the tractor. In fact, the company had refused to pay or reimburse the driver for the required repairs on the power-unit and dispatched him anyway after prior instances of power-loss.

Case settled after a failed mediation just prior to the trial date.