$500,000.00 - Confidential Truck Wreck Settlement
Complex motor carrier case involving a truck driver who was apparently using the Defendant motor carrier's DOT number / placard and operating authority on equipment that was not listed under his lease agreement with that company. Case arose from a failure to yield left turn collision when tractor-trailer pulled out in front of our client. Insurer for the motor carrier insisted for over 2 years that the driver had no affiliation with the trucking company he was actually driving for under a lease agreement. Mr. Houghton was associated as counsel in this case at a point in time when both the insurer and motor carrier were vehemently denying any responsibility for this loss. After Mr. Houghton took the deposition of the motor carrier's owner and safety director in Chicago, it became clear that the company's position was not supported by the evidence produced in discovery. There was considerable evidence that the company was vicariously responsible under DOT regulations and the FMCSR for any loss arising from this independent contractor's use of their interstate operating authority. (even if he was not doing a run for the company at the time of the loss) Multiple instances of prior and subsequent DOT inspection reports received by the defendant motor carrier established that they knew or should of known that the defendant driver was continuing to use their DOT operating authority during the timeframe surrounding this collision.
The case settled a month after mediation for a significant multiple of the client's medical bills.