Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Jose Maclovio, an 18-year-old farmworker, was riding home in a van driven by Ramiro Tadeo-Lazaaro.

A vehicle driven by Craig Brewer rear-ended the van as it was stopped at a railroad crossing. Maclovio suffered a burst fracture at C5, which required an emergency surgery.  Sadly, despite this treatment, Maclovio suffered partial quadriplegia.

He sued Tadeo-Lazaaro, Brewer and the van’s owner alleging negligent operation of the defendants’ vehicles.

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Gina Sanderson, 48, drove her vehicle into an intersection where there was a two-way stop sign. Her car was struck from the side by a tractor-trailer driven by Philip Wright. He had run through the stop sign. Wright was an employee of Darling Ingredients Inc.  Sanderson suffered a right leg tibia pilon fracture that involved the ankle as well. The injury required two surgeries. She now experiences chronic pain and has a collapsed arch and a foot and ankle deformity among other issues.

Sanderson, who is an autism consultant, is unable to continue working full time.

She sued Wright, alleging that he chose not to stop at a stop sign, failed to keep a proper lookout and did not yield the right-of-way. The lawsuit against Darling Ingredients alleged owner liability under state law.

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Shane Denil was driving his Mazda Miata when his car was rear-ended by a box truck driven by Andrew Bassett. Denil suffered a concussion and herniations to his cervical and lumbar spine. He underwent cervical disk surgery, a lumbar radio frequency ablation, and a lumbar laminectomy, which resulted in medical expenses totaling $470,000.

He sued Bassett, alleging that he chose not to keep a proper lookout, which caused the rear-end crash. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

The defendant argued that Denil had a pre-existing back and neck injury that was exasperated by this crash. However, before trial the parties settled for $1 million.

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Tomasa Cuevas was traveling in her SUV with her two children, Alejandro, 16, and Maritza, 11. Amarjit Aulakh, an employee of Rai Transport Inc., drove his semi-tractor-trailer through a red light.  This caused a T-bone collision with Cuevas’s vehicle.

Tomasa Cuevas, 42, suffered fractures to her skull and face as well as a traumatic brain injury. Alejandro, who was in the passenger seat, also suffered skull and facial fractures and a traumatic brain injury.  Alejandro was a successful high school cross-country runner who may not be able to return to the sport.  Maritza was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after this horrific crash.

Cuevas and for her children sued Rai Transport, alleging liability for Aulakh’s choosing not to obey a red light. The Cuevas family alleged that Aulakh had been involved in fourteen prior collisions and was driving with a suspended license at the time of this incident. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

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Donald Peace was driving to work in rainy conditions in the middle of the night.  As he drove along a two-lane highway, Keith Rock attempted to back out onto a side street, blocking several lanes of the highway. Rock was driving a tractor-trailer for Berkeley Scrap Metal.

Peace’s vehicle crashed into the Berkeley Scrap Metal tractor-trailer that was blocking the street; he suffered fatal injuries. He was survived by his wife and two adult children.

The Peace estate and family sued Berkeley Scrap Metal, alleging liability for Rock’s choosing not to keep a proper lookout when backing onto the side street.

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Sean McFly, a 29-year-old student at the University of Florida, was heading to class from a campus parking lot. As he was walking in the crosswalk, a truck driven by Billy Harrison, a University of Florida employee, hit him.  He suffered cervical disk herniation at C5-6 and C6-7 that resulted in nerve damage to his hands.

McFly suffers ongoing pain and will require spinal fusion at a later date. His past medical expenses totaled $36,000.

McFly sued the University of Florida alleging liability for Harrison’s choosing not to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. McFly claimed that Harrison had been using his cell phone at the time of the incident. It was also alleged that Harrison failed to slow down before the impact.

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Anthony Ellis, 21, was on a highway driving his motorcycle when he entered an intersection.  Emily Trevino was driving in the opposite direction and waiting to make a turn. She turned left in front of Ellis.

Ellis’s motorcycle and Trevino’s car collided and Ellis was thrown into a ditch. He suffered multiple fractures, including to his finger, toes, arm and left knee. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery followed by a course of physical therapy.

Ellis had planned to join the military but is now unable to do so because of his injuries. His medical expenses approached $208,000 with his past lost income of $9,300. Ellis sued Trevino, alleging that she made an improper turn.

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On Sept. 13, 2011, James Langholf, employed by Howe Freightways Inc., was driving a semi-tractor and trailer truck through Iowa when he heard a pop and felt the engine shake. He then noticed black smoke coming from the engine. He had the engine powered on but pulled off to the side of the road and called Howe’s director of safety and maintenance and the shop foreman for help.

Langholf could not restart the engine and was told to call Cummins, the manufacturing company for his truck’s engine, which had a repair shop nearby.

On advice from someone at Cummins, Langholf called Hanifen Co. in Des Moines to get a tow. Hanifen was 53 miles away and farther than two other tow companies. Two trucks were dispatched, as two were needed to tow the semi-tractor and trailer.

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Jorge Amparo was traveling on an interstate highway in rainy conditions during heavy traffic. Evans Delivery Co. driver Jose Ayala was operating an 80,000-pound tractor-trailer in the roadway’s middle or left lane while he was talking on his cellphone.

As Amparo stopped for traffic in the left lane, Ayala’s tractor-trailer rear-ended his vehicle, causing it collide with another vehicle in front of him.

Emergency workers used the Jaws of Life to extract Amparo who was taken to a nearby hospital. He underwent a discectomy to treat a herniation at L5-S1 and required physical therapy and rehabilitation.

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Elwood Breaux Jr. was working for Plaquemines Parish when the “zipper failure” occurred, the name for a long sidewall rip with protruding metal reinforcement. With air escaping from the tire, Breaux was thrown backward and severely injured. He died 28 days after this occurrence on Feb. 5, 2014 of massive internal injuries to his chest and abdomen caused by the exploded tire. This case was tried before a judge in the Louisiana state district court.

The judge calculated damages to Breaux, his five children and his wife, at $6.7 million, saying about $481,000 of that will reimburse the parish for the workers’ compensation lien.

Louisiana state law will return some of that to the family’s share and judicial interest or add at least $1.4 million to the total. Attorney Danny Meeks represented the Breaux family in this tragic case.

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