Articles Posted in Trucking Accidents

While driving a Schnitzer Steel Industries tractor-trailer on an interstate highway, Kenneth Cathey crossed the center line and collided head-on with an SUV driven by Carrie Jones. There were five occupants of the Jones’ SUV, which included Jones, her two minor children, her mother, Judy Madere, and Madere’s twin sister who died in the crash.

Madere’s husband, individually, and on behalf of her estate, sued Schnitzer Southeast LLC, Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc. and Kenneth Cathey.

The plaintiffs claimed that Cathey was driving while fatigued and had slept only 4-5 hours the night before the crash.

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Doe, age 26, was driving on a highway when a wheel detached from a truck driven by a trade school student on the opposite side of the road. The detached wheel crashed through Doe’s windshield killing him. Doe was survived by his parents.

Doe’s parents sued the trade school and the truck driver, alleging that the driver and her classmate had improperly secured this wheel to the truck. The truck belonged to the driver but was used at the trade school four days before the incident. It was also claimed that the students’ work had been unsupervised and was not inspected.

The Doe family claimed that the torque wrench used to do the work had been improperly calibrated and that the wheel had been under-torqued before its separation.

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Dominic Consolazio suffered from a seizure disorder that was unresponsive to medicine at times. He was employed by Southern California Gas Co. in a position that required him to drive a company truck.

One morning, he was driving on a Los Angeles County street en route to a job site when he suffered a seizure. He lost consciousness and rear-ended a motorcyclist, Jason Lo, 32, who was stopped at a red light. Lo’s motorcycle became lodged under Consolazio’s truck, which continued traveling another 436 feet. Consolazio attempted to leave the scene.

Lo suffered massive blood loss, a degloving injury to his right leg, and a torn femoral artery.
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Machaela Matthews-Bell was driving on an interstate highway when a van in front of her stopped to avoid hitting an animal on the roadway. Matthews-Bell brought her vehicle to a controlled stop. Jagdip Bhullar, who was driving a tractor-trailer owned by Jawala Mukhi Transport Inc., rear-ended Matthews-Bell’s vehicle, causing her to collide with a van.

Matthews-Bell sustained injuries to her head, neck and back. She has undergone extensive medical care, including neck surgery, and anticipates future surgery on her cervical spine. Her medical expenses alone were more than $100,000.

Matthews-Bell sued Jawala Mukhi Transport and Bhullar, alleging liability for Bhullar’s choosing not to keep a proper lookout and failing to maintain control of his tractor-trailer.

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Brandon Jackson, 27, was driving his 18-wheeler truck on an interstate highway when he drove over a ladder that had fallen off a Charter Communications’ work van.

After driving over the ladder, his truck suffered three tire blowouts, which caused him to lose control of his truck. It overturned and hit a tree. He suffered fractures to his pelvis, right hip, and ribs, which required surgery and five months of rehabilitation. He remains in pain and has physical limitations.

Jackson was unable to return to his job; he had been earning approximately $30,000 per year. He now earns $12,000 a year driving a school bus. Following this crash, he was obligated to spend approximately $303,000 in medical expenses.

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Cindy Tran Huynh was just 22 years old when her death occurred. She was driving her motorcycle through an intersection on a green light when George Hooks, who was operating a tractor-trailer owned by MDV SpartanNash, LLC, turned left across Huynh’s path.

Huynh suffered a fatal blunt force trauma. She had been a veteran and student and is survived by her parents.

Huynh’s mother, individually and on behalf of her estate, sued MDV SpartanNash, alleging that Hooks had chosen not to keep a proper lookout and to yield the right-of-way.

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Jacob Lee, a teenager, was driving a Dodge Ram truck on a state roadway. After running a red light at an intersection, Lee approached a second intersection where he rear-ended a van carrying the Johnson family. Their van was stopped at a red light.

David Johnson, 35, suffered a concussion. His wife, Susannah, 34, pregnant at the time of the crash, suffered fractures to all of her ribs. Two of the Johnsons’ daughters, ages 8 and 10, suffered bilateral hip fractures and other orthopedic injuries. Tragically, their 6-year-old daughter suffered fatal injuries, and their 3-year-old son suffered a spinal injury, which resulted in quadriplegia.

The Johnson family sued Lee alleging that he had been driving 78 mph while under the influence of alcohol and the inhalant difluoroethane. Lee admitted liability. The jury signed a verdict in favor of the Johnsons for over $128.81 million. Lee was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a vehicular homicide.

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A tire company will not face a lawsuit involving the wrongful death of one of its employees who was killed in a truck crash. U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee wrote the opinion dismissing a wrongful-death lawsuit and survival claims against Pomp’s Tire Service Inc. on behalf of the Estate of Dustin Webster.

Federal District Court held that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act bars the claims that the Estate of Webster brought against his employer. The original lawsuit by the estate was filed in LaSalle County, Ill., under Illinois law but was removed to the U.S. District Court in Chicago under diversity jurisdiction.

Webster was killed in November 2017 when the truck he was driving for Pomp’s collided with another truck in LaSalle County.

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A forklift operator, Olynthus Davis, was loading a tractor-trailer equipped with a securement system that consisted of metal tracks running the length of the trailer. Davis, 36, operated his forklift inside the trailer. The end of one of the tracks of the securement system pierced the cargo area and impaled Davis’s left leg near the knee. The impact also forced his right elbow into the steering wheel.

Davis underwent debridement and multiple wound care procedures. He required a wheelchair for several weeks and used crutches and a walker for months. Davis also underwent an ulnar nerve exploration surgery and has been diagnosed with having a neuroma, which will require surgery.

A neuroma is a painful condition sometimes called a “pinched nerve.” A neuroma has also been described as a thickening of nerve tissue that can develop in different parts of the body. More specifically, a neuroma of the ulnar nerve occurs most often because of a trauma such as what Davis experienced. The clinical presentation of a neuroma of the ulnar nerve is pain and tenderness to the touch. This would be the case of Davis’s injured elbow.

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Allison VanDerMaelen was riding on the back of a motorcycle that was approaching an intersection. A garbage truck driven by Robert Choinski for CWPM, LLC was traveling westbound while the motorcycle was eastbound.

Choinski’s garbage truck crossed the centerline and entered the eastbound lane crashing head on into the motorcycle.

VanDerMaelen suffered serious injuries including brain hemorrhaging, chest trauma, and multiple fractures. She underwent numerous surgeries and was hospitalized for almost three months. She then underwent six months of physical therapy, rehabilitation and additional leg surgeries. VanDerMaelen continues to suffer pain and restrictions in her daily living activities and uses a wheelchair or walker to move around.

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