Our friend, Sean Claggett, of Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, recently obtained another outstanding jury verdict on behalf of his client. The jury returned a $3,382,000 verdict after a top pretrial offer from the lead Defendant of $20,000.
On October 1, 2013, a tow truck driver pulled up to a gas station, parked his tow truck and entered the station. The tow truck rolled backward and out of the gas station parking lot. The truck rolled across three lanes of traffic, hopped the median, and collided with a 2013 Nissan Cube. The force of the impact caused multiple injuries to the driver of the Cube, including low back pain, left and right shoulder pain, vascular headache, and thoracic spine pain. The driver later had surgeries to fix her shoulder injuries and multiple sets of injections and rhizotomies to her spine. The tow truck driver adamantly claimed that he set the parking break in the truck.
During discovery, it was determined that the manufacturer of the truck never tested the parking brake lever before placing it into thousands of commercial vehicles. Experts determined that the parking brake failed, which allowed the tow truck to roll backwards out of the parking lot. Experts also determined the cause of the failure was high cycle fatigue. It was also confirmed that at some point between November 2011 and December 2012, the Defendant tow truck company replaced the parking brake handle on this tow truck and did so without consulting any instructions. The evidence of defect was so clear during trial that the court ruled as a matter of law that the parking brake was defective.
The Plaintiff team successfully showed the jury that the tow truck manufacturer and the tow truck company were both at fault in this case. The Plaintiff had zero fault in this incident as she could not get out of the way of the tow truck. The verdict apportioned the liability at 75% to the truck manufacturer and 25% to the tow company.
Senior Vice President