$280 Million Verdict Rendered against Trucking Company in Columbus, Georgia
COLUMBUS, GA – According to an online news report at freightwaves.com, a Columbus, Georgia jury rendered a $280 million verdict against a trucking company. The verdict was rendered the jury in only 45 minutes.*
The accident involved a grandmother and her twin sister, the woman’s daughter, and the daughter’s two children, all of whom died when a truck slammed into their vehicle in a head-on collision. The accident occurred in Russell County located in eastern Alabama on United States Highway 80.
Last year, a $101 million verdict was rendered in Texas last year against another trucking company, which was the biggest verdict ever awarded against a trucking company. The Georgia verdict is over 275% the size of the award in Texas. This $101 million case was filed in Muscogee County, per news reports.
In the instant action, the $280 million was awarded to the family of the victims. There is another case that is currently pending by another family member. Other lawsuits were settled out of court, per a news report.
The trucking company sells scrap metal and is a subsidiary of another corporation, which is a publicly-traded steel recycling and manufacturing company. Both companies were both sued because they were so closely linked that the driver who was responsible for the accident had initially applied to one of the companies that led him to be a driver for scrap metal corporation.
“The family’s lawyers presented evidence to show braking skid marks for the SUV but none for the truck,” according to the Daily Report. “The [family’s] attorneys alleged the driver was fatigued, having only slept less than five hours the night before. They said he fell asleep, crossed the center line of the two-lane U.S. Highway 80 in Alabama… and slammed into the SUV.”
The truck driver faced criminal charges for causing the accident. These charges are five counts of criminally negligent homicide. These charges are currently pending.
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