Our firm settled a case involving two deaths arising out of a motor vehicle collision on the second day of trial. Both occupants in a Lincoln Town car were killed when the car was hit at the intersection of two state highways in a rural area of the state. The collision occurred at about 8:30 p.m. in June 2005.
The driver of a tractor and trailer rig crashed into the car at the intersection causing the car to be literally torn into two separate pieces. It was hit so hard that the steel frames on each side were pulled apart which is almost impossible.
The trooper who investigated the incident said it was a violent crash and the worst wreck he had ever seen. The truck driver, who was classified under the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations as an “habitual speeder.” was the only witness to the incident.
Our accident reconstructionist testified that the tractor-trailer unit was traveling at 75 mph at impact. Interestingly, the defendants’ expert put the speed at 55 mph and actually at one point testified in deposition that the impact speed was about 42 mph. That would have been most difficult to sell to a jury especially when it was shown that this expert formed his speed opinions without even knowing what the driver had testified about in deposition. In Fact, the defense didn’t even know that the tractor-trailer rig had an ABS breaking system.
Julia Beasley, Boyd Whigham, and I represented one of the families and David Cowan, Robert Potter, and Tom Kelly represented the other family. Our experts were Byrant Buckner (accident reconstruction) and Roger Allen (DOT regulations). Each of the experts did an outstanding job.
The amount of the settlement is confidential at the request of the defendants. All documents that were obtained during pretrial discovery are now under seal by court order and cannot be discussed. Additionally, the names of the defendants are also under seal and cannot be revealed.
We were pleased to have been able to resolve this matter for our clients and that’s what is most important.