$9,000,000 Settlement – Tractor Trailer
Shiver Hamilton Campbell obtained a significant settlement in a tragic tractor-trailer wrongful death case. A part-time driver for a small trucking company was killed when the steel beams he was carrying dislodged and intruded into the cab of the tractor as he came to a routine stop in traffic. The driver died when the beams pinned him against the steering wheel.
For two years the trucking company and its insurer only offered $100,000 to settle the case, while vehemently claiming our client was a full-time employee and the trucking company, which would make it immune from liability based on the Worker’s Compensation Exclusive Remedy Doctrine. They also claimed the tragic incident was the fault of the truck driver because he failed to secure the load with plastic edge protectors designed to prevent the fabric straps from being severed. During litigation, our attorneys discovered several critical pieces of evidence which proved both defenses were without merit.
Shiver Hamilton Campbell also discovered the trucking company had submitted documents to the federal government claiming the driver was an independent contractor, not an employee. Our attorneys also scoured county records and found occupational tax records demonstrating the trucking company also represented to the local county that it had no part-time employees. Another critical piece of evidence uncovered by our firm was a little-known regulation requiring any trucking company shipping beams to install a headache rack on the tractor to prevent cargo from intruding into the cab.
After securing this evidence, the insurance company offered 90 times its original offer and the case settled for just under $9,000,000.