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Case Results

TRUCKING NEGLIGENCE

Family Trapped in Vehicle Following I-65 Tractor Trailer Wreck

ELPO represented a mother and two young children who were traveling on I-65 after having dinner in Bowling Green with the mother’s fiancé. A tractor trailer attempted to merge from the center lane to the far right lane in which they were traveling. The tractor trailer struck the client’s car, causing it to rotate to the front of the tractor trailer. The tractor-trailer then pushed the car up the highway for 300 yards, causing it to overturn, before finally coming to rest on top of our client’s car. The young mother and her two children survived the accident but were trapped in the vehicle. The mother’s fiancé, who was driving their vehicle, was killed. Moments after the vehicles stopped, the mother and her two children were forced to watch him take his last breath. It took the rescue workers more than three hours and the use of a crane to lift the tractor trailer off of the car to extricate the children from the vehicle. Extensive discovery was taken which revealed that the truck driver had been improperly trained and was driving in violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations regarding off-duty hours. The trucking company had failed to investigate the truck driver’s history, which included multiple traffic violations, multiple criminal convictions, and the fact that he had been fired from several previous jobs as a truck driver. The clients, fortunately, sustained only minor physical injuries in the accident. This horrific event, however, caused them to suffer unimaginable psychological trauma. Through our use of expert testimony and psychiatric medical treatment, ELPO was able to demonstrate the severity of our clients’ injuries. Substantial recoveries were made on behalf of the mother and her two children, and provisions were made to provide the children with financial security well into their adult years.

Trucking Company’s Negligence Results in Death of Farmer

ELPO represented the surviving wife and children of a man who, for 60 years, had been a successful farmer. He was a well known community leader, father, grandfather and a long-time client of our firm. On the day of this accident, he was having grain delivered to his farm by an out-of-state trucking company. The truck driver, while backing up, ran over the farmer. The trucking company attempted to blame the farmer. However, accident reconstruction and analysis of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, pertaining to the truck driver’s duties while backing up, refuted the trucking company’s argument. ELPO was able to prove that the truck driver was at fault for the accident, which resulted in a large settlement in favor of our client’s family.

Tractor-Trailer Runs Highway 31-E Red Light and Kills Local Business Owner

An active 81-year-old man driving his car was killed in a tractor trailer accident. Prior to his death, he was still active in his home repair business. He was a well-known member of the community with many children and grandchildren. He was at an intersection. After his light turned green, he pulled through an intersection, on a federal highway, and was struck by a tractor-trailer. The truck driver was attempting to run the red light which was just a half-mile from his final destination. The truck driver claimed that his light was green. However, through accident reconstruction and interviewing of witnesses, we were able to establish that the truck driver’s light was red and that he was simply trying to “run the red light.” A substantial recovery was made on behalf of the surviving members of our client’s family.

Tractor-Trailer Runs Red Light Resulting in Deadly Crash

A traffic accident killed a man in his mid-70’s who was still an active farmer on one of the most attractive farms in the community. His wife had predeceased him, but he was a wonderful step-father and proud grandfather. He was healthy, active, and looked 20 years younger than his age. As he sat at a stop light, his light turned green. When he pulled into the intersection of this federal highway, he was struck by a tractor-trailer driven by a driver who was behind in schedule and was trying to “run the red light.” We were able to expose the trucking company’s negligence in hiring, training, and supervising this particular driver through extensive investigation, interviewing, and accident reconstruction. The defense sought to minimize damages because of his age. Through interviews of family, friends, neighbors and members of the community, ELPO was able to establish that the true value of the remaining years of the man’s life was significantly greater than the defense contended. ELPO made a substantial recovery for the family.

Truck Driver Negligence Takes the Life of Father

The negligence of the drivers of two different companies caused the death of a young father who was on his way to work. As the man traveled south on a four-lane road, there was a collision between a waste management company truck and a heating and air conditioning company’s truck. Both of the companies’ drivers were at fault. One of the drivers had been lost and had, abruptly, tried to pull into a left turn lane. However, he did not completely make it into the turn lane. The other driver was driving a heavily loaded vehicle and following too closely when he rear-ended the smaller truck. He knocked it into oncoming traffic and it struck our client’s vehicle head on, resulting in his death. The man was survived by his wife and three young sons. At that time, his wife was a stay-at-home mom. ELPO brought an action, on the family’s behalf, against both companies and made a recovery that resulted in financial security for the widow and provided for the educational and financial care of the client’s three sons.

Two Careless Truck Drivers Cause the Death of Seven People on I-65

A truck driver lost a 3.5 foot long metal post off of the back of his truck on Interstate 65. He stopped momentarily to recover it but then left when the accident occurred. A second tractor-trailer driver saw the piece of metal in the road but rather than simply striking it, as several vehicles had done before him, swerved recklessly into an adjacent lane and lost control of his vehicle. One vehicle, carrying a blended family of six, and another vehicle carrying a man and his wife, were struck. Six people in the first vehicle died and one person in the second vehicle died. ELPO represented the natural father of three of the children in the first vehicle and the surviving spouse of the woman who was killed in the second vehicle. The case involved significant accident reconstruction issues. Suit was filed in federal court. Defense efforts focused on the truck drivers blaming one another and contending that the elderly woman who was killed in the accident and the children who were killed in the accident did not have significant “loss of earning capacity” claims. After exhaustive litigation, the defense ultimately paid a significant settlement to the surviving family members of all in order to avoid trial.

Truck Driver’s Health Problems Causes Serious I-65 Crash

ELPO’s client was a 21-year-old man who was on his way home after working the third shift. As he proceeded north on Interstate 65, a tractor-trailer came across the median, striking his vehicle. His vehicle ended up inside the trailer of the tractor-trailer. Our client survived but sustained significant injuries. The tractor-trailer driver was dead at the scene. The trucking company admitted liability and sought to resolve the case quickly for an inadequate sum of money. ELPO obtained all of the medical records of the truck driver and found that his health was in such a bad state that he was in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, as was his employer for allowing him to drive. In fact, he had a defibrillator which was causing him problems. He was also overweight, had high blood pressure, and suffered from sleep apnea. His cardiologist testified that he had told the truck driver not to even drive an automobile in town, and the doctor was shocked to learn that he was actually driving commercial vehicles across the country. The trucking company had an in-house physician who had allowed this driver to pass all physical examinations. The young man suffered such significant injuries that he was no longer able to engage in manual labor. However, as he worked through the case with ELPO, the client became so interested in the legal process that he returned to school and completed a paralegal program. He is now employed as a paralegal, aided by the substantial recovery that ELPO was able to make on his behalf.

I-65 Bridge Collision with Tractor-Trailer Causes Death of Young Mother

A plant manager for one of ELPO’s corporate clients was at home, with his young son, waiting for his wife to return from a visit to her friend’s house. The friend was leaving town to move to Texas and she wanted to say good-bye. Unfortunately, she never made it home and never got to say good-bye to her own family. She was driving south on Interstate 65, crossing a bridge, when a tractor-trailer crossed the median, entered the bridge the wrong way, and struck her vehicle. The evidence at trial was that once the tractor-trailer driver realized he was headed into oncoming traffic, he had an opportunity to choose another path which may have been slightly more dangerous for him, but instead, chose to drive onto the bridge so his truck would be on the roadway, even though he would be going the wrong way. A collision, and resulting fuel fed fire, was so fierce that our client could not be readily identified. Her husband and son waited at home, for hours, until identification, through dental records, could be made. Suit was filed against the trucking company on behalf of her estate. A substantial recovery was made against the trucking company, to ensure the financial security of the father and his young son for the rest of their lives.

PRODUCTS LIABILITY

ELPO handles a wide variety of products liability cases against the manufacturers of defective or dangerous pharmaceuticals, medical devices and motor vehicles. Below is a list of cases that we have handled:

Young Father Burned in Automotive Fire

A young father left his pregnant wife and baby daughter at home one evening to go get a loaf of bread. As he was driving down the road in his Pontiac Grand Am, his engine burst into flames and flames quickly entered into the driver’s compartment. The vehicle lost power and he was unable to control the vehicle. The power windows would not open. He suffered significant burns before he was able to open the door and leap from the burning vehicle. More than 60 percent of his body was burned. He faced a long period of rehabilitation while being unable to work and provide for his family. An attorney from the rural town where the accident occurred referred the case to ELPO and suit was filed against the manufacturer of the motor vehicle. Extensive discovery was undertaken regarding the particular defect which caused the vehicle to catch fire. Automotive experts and fire cause and origin experts were retained to prove the case against the automobile manufacturer. A substantial recovery was made against the automobile manufacturer. The client recovered from his injuries and was able to return to his job after an extensive period of recovery.

Defective Wire Connector Causes Cable Repairman’s Fall

An experienced cable TV lineman was repairing cable on a ladder 30 feet above the ground. The cable strand connector, on which his ladder was resting, was defective, a fact that was unknown to him. The connector failed, causing our client to fall 30 feet to the ground and sustain serious injuries. Suit was filed in federal court against the manufacturer of the connector. Expert testimony was obtained to establish the nature of the defect. The cable TV lineman was off work for a significant period of time attempting to recovery from his injuries. ELPO was able to make a substantial recovery from the manufacturer of the defective connector.

Park-To-Reverse Defect in Light Truck Results in Fatality

A local personal injury attorney referred ELPO this vehicular defect case. Our client was a recently retired engineer. As he left his home one day to run an errand in his Dodge Dakota pick-up truck, he put his recycling bins in the back of the truck in order to drop them off at the curb as he exited his property. He stopped, put the truck in park and walked around to the back of the truck to remove the bins. Because of a manufacturing defect, the gear slipped from park into reverse, striking him, dragging him across his property and resulting in significant abdominal injuries. Three months after the accident, he received a safety recall notice regarding this particular defect in the truck. ELPO filed suit in federal court and retained an automotive design expert to establish the nature of the defect, how long the manufacturer had known of the defect, and that the client was blameless. The defense contended that the client’s recovery should be limited because of his age and some pre-existing medical conditions. After establishing liability, much of the case development involved a medical analysis of the client’s condition and life expectancy, as well as an income and benefits analysis in order to establish that the client’s family had, in fact, suffered a significant financial loss as a result of his death. Eventually, the auto manufacturer conceded its responsibility for the defect that caused the client’s injuries and a substantial settlement was made for his family.