Amarjit Khunkhun was a 43-year-old truck driver when he was found burned to death in the cab of his truck owned by his employer, GMG Trucking of Fresno, Calif. Khunkhun was survived by his wife and three children. The state fire investigators found that the fire started inside the cab and concluded that Khunkhun’s use of a portable stove might have caused the fire. No stove or propane tanks were found in the cab during the investigation.
Khunkhun’s family, with the assistance of attorneys Bill Robins, Hector Longoria, Mohinder S. Mann and Gruinder S. Mann, filed a lawsuit against GMG Trucking and its owners. The family’s attorneys also hired a fire cause-and-origin expert. That investigation showed the fire started beneath the truck, not by a stove or propane tanks. A truck mechanic expert determined that transmission fluid had leaked from the truck’s transmission, where it was ignited by the cab’s exhaust system and other hot components. Because of the fire underneath the cab, carbon monoxide vapors leaked into the cab where Khunkhun was left unconscious, and then the truck cab burst into flames resulting in Khunkhun’s death.
The lawsuit brought against GMG Trucks and its owners alleged negligent maintenance and inspection of the trucks. The family alleged that the owners were aware of the transmission leak in the tractor, but chose not to repair it in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.