$30,000,000 Settlement – Tractor Trailer Crash
On a September morning in South Georgia, a national trucking company’s tractor trailer ran through a red light and struck our client’s passenger sedan in the side. The driver was a wonderful lady and mother of two young girls. She suffered catastrophic brain injury and died several days later in the hospital. The crash was captured on the tractor’s dash camera unit. The truck was speeding slightly, and barely slowed or braked before impact. The driver was not arrested, but did consent to a blood draw. When those results came back, there was methamphetamine in the toxicology lab result. Ultimately this triggered a law enforcement investigation and charges for DUI and vehicular homicide. Our Firm led a team of attorneys, carefully reconstructing the crash and seeking evidence of the driver’s background, history, and drug use. We obtained pharmacy and medical records, interviewed dozens of witnesses, and deposed the large trucking company that hired and put the driver in place. We found evidence that just 10 days before the crash, the truck driver had drifted out of his lane and struck a barrier on the interstate. The truck dash cam reported that incident back to headquarters via electronic notification, but apparently no one at the company did anything with the information. Our Firm moved quickly, securing a special trial setting. When we first got the case, we demanded $30 million to settle. The main defense was that in this rural south Georgia venue the jury would not place a high value on the damages, since our client did not make a lot of money from her job. The initial offer was $3 million. The defense later offered $6 million, and then later $11 million. We never came down from our $30 million demand. A few weeks before trial, after we had fully worked up the case for trial, the insurance company met our demand to settle for $30 million. We believe this to be a record-setting result as the largest settlement or verdict in the history of the county and judicial circuit.