A refuse lorry driver, whose spine was compressed following a crash due to the front wheel of his vehicle collapsing, has been awarded 11.4 million dollars in faulty vehicle accident compensation by a jury in California.
Raymond Mariolle (46) from Brentwood, California, drove refuse lorries for twenty years prior to his accident in 2007, when the front right hub of his lorry cracked – resulting in the wheel becoming detached and the 27 ton vehicle tumbling to the ground.
Despite being in the cab of the vehicle, Raymond suffered a crushed spine for which he has already undergone three major surgeries. Raymond also takes painkillers to help him accomplish day-to-day tasks and has been unable to return to work even in a non-driving position.
Raymond made a claim for faulty vehicle accident compensation against Volvo Trucks, the manufacturers of the vehicle, Consolidated Metro – the manufacturer of the aluminium hubs – and the company that had modified the lorry – Wittke Manufacturing – alleging that the companies were aware that the hubs did not have sufficient strength to bear the loads placed on them.
At the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California Judge Maxine Chesney and an assembled jury heard that a number of hubs had already failed throughout the country and there were an estimated 25,000 vehicles in a similar condition.
The three defendants claimed that the hubs only cracked when excessive weight was put on them by irresponsible waste management companies, but Raymond´s solicitor was able to produce emails from 2004 which demonstrated that the three defendants were aware of a problem but failed to recall the lorries or replace the hubs that had been fitted to them.
Have been told by Judge Chesney to offer a settlement but failing to do so, the three defendants were found liable for Raymond´s injury and the division of liability and award of damages was left to the jury´s discretion.
After the jury had deliberated for 10 hours, liability was divided between all three defendants with Consolidated Metro being assigned 52 percent at fault, Volvo Trucks 30 percent at fault and Wittke Manufacturing 12 percent. The remaining 6 percent was allocated to Raymond´s employer who was not named as a defendant.
The jury awarded Raymond 7.5 million dollars in general damages for the pain he had suffered with a further award of 2.4 million dollars in special damages for lost income and medical expenses. Raymond´s wife – Regina – was also awarded 1.5 million dollars in faulty vehicle accident compensation for being deprived of marital and family relations since the accident.
A Texas woman, whose car was hit by a delivery lorry while its driver was talking on a mobile phone, has been awarded 24 million dollars in driver on mobile phone accident compensation for her injuries.
Vanice Chatman-Wilson (37) from Corpus Christi in Texas, sustained injuries to her back, spine and neck in 2010, when her Ford Fusion was struck by a Coca Cola delivery truck driven by Araceli Vanessa Cabral (30) who had been talking on her mobile phone at the time. As a result of the accident, and despite undergoing a lumbar operation in February 2011, Vanice was left with permanent nerve damage.
Although using a mobile phone while driving in Texas is not against the law, Vanice sought legal advice and brought a claim for driver on mobile phone accident compensation against Coca Cola Enterprises.
Coca Cola defended the claim by saying that they had a hands-free policy for all their drivers however, at the Corpus Christi High Court, jurors heard evidence from Vanice´s solicitors that the policy was not enforced and from the driver of the truck that she had never been told about the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone.
Finding in favour of Vanice, the jury awarded her a total of 24 million dollars driver on mobile phone accident compensation to account for her pain and suffering and punitive damages – an award which her solicitor described as a warning to Coca Cola and other large companies to review the use of mobile phones by their truck drivers.
A women who sustained traumatic brain injuries after being hit by a lorry as she was walking home from the shops has had an award of 750,000 pounds approved in London´s High Court in respect of her multiple vehicle accident injury compensation claim.
Devbai Patel (60) from Neasden in London was walking home alongside the North Circular Road in January 2008 when two cars crashed on the busy dual carriageway. A lorry, trying to avoid impact with the two cars, mounted the pavement and hit Devbai – leaving her with multiple fractures and severe brain damage and killing the lorry driver.
Devbai was air-lifted to hospital where she underwent emergency surgery to save her life. She spent a further two weeks in an Intensive Care Unit and underwent months of rehabilitation before being allowed home. Even though Devbai made a good physical recovery, the brain damage she sustained means that she will require permanent care.
After seeking legal advice, Devbai´s family made a pedestrian accident claim against the car driver responsible for causing the multiple vehicle accident, who had also pleaded guilty to causing the death of the lorry driver by careless driving. Although liability was not in doubt, negotiating a suitable multiple vehicle accident injury compensation with the driver´s insurers took over two years.
In London´s High Court, Mrs Justice Cox heard that the two parties had now reached an agreement which would see Devbai and her family receive an immediate lump sum of 750,000 pounds with annual tax-free and index-linked payments of 25,000 pounds. Approving the settlement of multiple vehicle accident injury compensation, Mrs Justice Cox sent her best wishes to Devbai and her family.
A man who sustained a broken neck and catastrophic spinal injuries when the trailer of a truck broke free and landed on top of his car has settled his road traffic accident claim with the truck owners for 1.4 million dollars.
William Geary (60) from Medford in Jackson County, Oregon, sustained his injuries in December 2011 when the trailer of a truck driven by Philip McCullough broke free while McCullough was attempting a dangerous manoeuvre and landed on top of his Chevrolet Silverado.
William, who had been waiting patiently at a red light at the time, suffered a broken neck in the accident and catastrophic damage to his spine. The 6´ 4´´ tall man was trapped in his vehicle for 90 minutes while emergency services attempted to cut him free from the wreckage.
An investigation was launched into the accident, and McCullough was fined for making an improper turn and careless driving. However, on inspection of the truck, it was found that the brake slack adjusters were mismatched and the brakes on the rear trailer were not lined up correctly.
William made a road traffic accident claim for his injuries and a negotiated settlement was agreed of truck accident compensation which covered the medical expenses he had incurred to date paid (300,000 dollars), a consideration for future medical expenses (400,000 dollars) and compensation for his pain and suffering, loss of income and loss of amenity (700,000 dollars).
A Californian jury has found the giant truck corporation YRC Incorporated liable in a case in which a truck wheel became unattached from its axle and struck a following vehicle – causing its driver to sustain severe brain injuries.
The unnamed man, from Vista, California, was driving along InterState 15 in San Diego County, California, when the accident occurred in January 2008. Two wheels separated from the rear axle of the YRC tractor-trailer travelling in front of him, and one of them crashed into his Chevrolet Metro, causing to crash his head against the roof of the car.
Although seat-belted, the victim sustained brain damage and spinal injuries which required a series of surgeries. He still suffers from chronic neck and back pain and was forced to retire from his job as an airline mechanic – a job he had held for twenty years.
The San Diego Superior Court, Vista Division, heard that although YRC Incorporated did not dispute that they were liable for the accident, they argued that the injuries had been exaggerated and that the plaintiff had a pre-existing neck condition.
However, after an eleven day trial, the jury found in favour of the plaintiff and awarded him a total of 12.2 million dollars in respect of past and future medical expenses, rehabilitation therapy, cognitive therapies, and medical needs as the man ages. The verdict also compensates the plaintiff for future loss of earnings.
A 78-year-old woman, who suffered severe injuries to her head, neck and lower limbs when involved in a collision with a two ton truck, has secured a negotiated settlement with the driver´s insurance company of 950,000 dollars.
The woman, who has only been identified by her surname “Archuleta”, was previously an active and healthy woman and was in the process of moving from her home in Yuma, Arizona, to live near her daughter in Pasadena, California, in May 2010 when the accident occurred.
As Ms Archuleta was driving through the town of Brawley, California, a maintenance truck for the Coachella Valley Water District failed to stop at a “Give Way” sign and pulled directly into the path of her Chevrolet Cobalt. Despite her airbags deploying immediately, Ms Archuleta suffered such severe injuries that she had to be air-lifted to a trauma unit in San Diego.
On arrival at the hospital it was discovered that Ms Archuleta had sustained injuries to her head, neck, spine, chest and legs and consequently she now has to rely of others to assist her with her daily functions. The subsequent personal injury action also claimed that Ms Archuleta now suffers from depression and anorexia – a condition which has seen her lose 32 pounds in weight since the trauma.
Before the case could be brought to court, lawyers for the injured party and those representing the Coachella Valley Water District negotiated a settlement of 950,000 dollars – which although will never compensate for the loss of Ms Archuleta´s happy retirement, will be able to provide her with the full-time care she now requires.
A Maryland jury has awarded just over two million dollars to the surviving husband of a woman who was run over and killed by a dustcart as they walked along a closed traffic lane.
Xiufeng Wang and Yunshu Li of Germantown, Maryland, were walking alongside the construction site for the new Germantown and Kingsview Fire Station during the early afternoon of October 9, 2008, when the accident occurred. A dustcart which was backing out of the construction site failed to notice the two pedestrians and ran them down.
Yunshu (74) died at the scene of the accident, while her husband sustained a fractured wrist and backbone injuries. Xiufeng was released from hospital after four days and, after seeking legal advice, sued the general contractor and subcontractor for wrongful death and personal injury, arguing that the companies were negligent for failing to provide a safe pedestrian path.
Before Montgomery County Court, the jury heard that Milestone Construction Services of Sterling, Virginia, and Hakes Contracting of Germantown, Maryland, were negligent inasmuch as they had removed a portion of the sidewalk during construction and failed to carry out pedestrian traffic plans. The family also argued that the dustcart was also negligently operated.
The jury found the two defendants guilty on both charges, and awarded Xiufeng, his son and five daughters a total compensation package valued in excess of two million dollars.
A minister´s wife and parent counsellor from Iowa, who suffered extensive brain damage in a road traffic accident in 2004, has been awarded 11 million dollars by an Illinois judge.
Carla Link (56) of Burlington, Iowa, was returning home from a family Labor Day excursion in June 2004, when the van in which she was travelling was struck by a trailer which had become detached from the pick-up driven by Clovis Crane (31) of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Mr Crane had fallen asleep of the wheel of his vehicle, and his consequently erratic driving had caused the trailer to become detached. It collided with the Link´s van and caused it to crash into guardrail – after which it rolled over three times.
Carla was thrown through the passenger window as her seatbelt snapped due to the force of the impact, and suffered a broken vertebrae, ribs, collarbone and forearm. She also sustained damage to her spine, pelvic area and legs, and was diagnosed with brain trauma and damage to her nervous system on arrival at hospital. Carla´s husband and daughter also suffered minor injuries.
Although having healed from many of her injuries, Judge Jeff Ford at the Champagne County Court heard that Carla is confined to a wheelchair and still suffers a skin sensation akin to being on fire because of the nerve damage. This exceptionally painful condition will remain with her for the rest of her life.
Liability was not contested and, making his announcement of the 11 million dollar award, the judge stated that it represented Carla´s medical bills (which amounted to 699,000 dollars), the loss of a normal life, physical disfigurement and her pain and suffering.
Two Buffalo Department of Street Sanitation workers whose garbage truck was hit by a commercial vehicle that broke a red light have obtained a compensation settlement of $3.25 million.
The workers were performing their sanitation duties at the time of the accident. They were seriously injured and both required spinal fusion surgeries as part of their treatment for back, knee, neck and head injuries.
The defendant’s insurance company did not want to settle but an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process over eighteen months that finished when it was clear that the case was going to go to trial.