$79.74 Million Jury Verdict When Driver is Buried Alive Under Sand After Being Hit by a Tractor-Trailer

In a tragic and grisly death case, the decedent, who was 48, had just dropped off her daughter at school and was driving out of the school’s parking lot when she stopped at a red light. A tractor-trailer driver for Albuquerque Redi-Mix Inc. and Quintana Enterprises Inc. struck the decedent’s car. The tractor-trailer rolled over, pinned the decedent in her vehicle while 25 tons of sand poured out of the truck.

Although desperate efforts were made to rescue the driver, she suffered asphyxiation and died at the scene. She was survived by her husband, two adult children and a minor child.

The family brought a lawsuit, which included the husband of the decedent suing the truck’s driver, Redi-Mix, Quintana Enterprises and its owners for negligent hiring, retention and supervision, negligent entrustment, violation of federal regulations and New Mexico statutory law and vicarious liability.

The lawsuit filed by the family also charged that the driver had a history of driving under the influence and that the tractor-trailer was negligently maintained, had three sets of brakes that were out of adjustment at the time of the incident and that the truck was in disrepair. There was no claim for lost time.

After the jury considered the evidence, it rendered a verdict for a total of $79.74 million, which included $60 million in punitive damages against Redi-Mix, Quintana Enterprises and its owners.

This case was handled expertly by the family’s attorney, Jacob G. Vigil.

Wilder v. Albuquerque Redi-Mix, Inc., No. D-202-CV-2003-04411 (N.M., Bernalillo Co. Dist. Dec. 9, 2013).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling tractor-trailer accident cases and automobile accident cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Summit, Alsip, Hinsdale, Waukegan, Wilmette, Harvey, Blue Island and Calumet City, Ill.

Related blog posts:

llinois Appellate Court Finds That OSHA Violations Did Not Raise Duty of Care to Hold Parties Responsible

US Court of Appeals Affirms Indemnification in Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Rented Boom Lift Case

$3 Million Judgment for Wrongful Death in Rear-End Collision with Postal Truck