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Trucking Company Hit with $40 Million Verdict in Georgia

Landstar Systems, a Florida trucking company, was hit with a $40.2 million verdict in Georgia for a fatal 2007 tractor-trailer/auto accident, according to Bloomberg/Business Week. Landstar intends to appeal the judgment while plaintiff's attorneys believe the verdict will be affirmed by the appeals court. "We feel confident this will stand up on appeal," said the plaintiff's counsel.

Tractor-Trailer Ignored Several Stop Warnings

The case was brought by a 49-year-old widow, whose husband was killed when a Landstar tractor-trailer ran a stop sign and collided with a Ford pickup truck carrying the plaintiff, her husband, and a friend. Only the plaintiff, who was riding in the rear seat of the truck, survived. She escaped with broken ribs and a fractured back. According to evidence produced at trial, the tractor-trailer driver ignored 10 separate warnings that he would be required to bring the big rig to a stop. These included lights, signs, rumble strips, and stop signs. Landstar admitted that it was liable for the accident, but requested that the amount of damages recoverable by the plaintiff be decided by a trial.

Verdict Included Numerous Types of Damages

Lawsuits for wrongful death may include several different types of damages. Pain and suffering can be awarded if there is evidence that a person survived, however briefly, after an accident. However, even in cases where a person's death was instantaneous, substantial damages can still be awarded. In this case the plaintiff's husband was a successful businessman, and attorneys proved that he would have earned more than $43 million over the course of his life. The jury awarded $40,175,000 for the wrongful death of the plaintiff's husband and her own pain, suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Some states allow additional monies to be awarded for the emotional injuries sustained by being involved in the same accident that kills a loved one. The law treats the negligent death of a human being very seriously and allows for many different types of recovery.

If you or family members have been injured by an accident involving a tractor-trailer, contact a personal injury attorney experienced in trucking law to ensure that your rights are vigorously defended.