Virginia: Car Accidents – a Lawyer’s Tractor-Trailer

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Trial is the monthly publication of the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”), formerly American Trial Lawyers Association (“ATLA”). In the issue for June, 2014, its Verdicts & Settlements report under “AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS” the notable New Mexico wrongful death case entitled “Driver Buried Alive Under Sand After Being By Tractor Trailer”. Id. at 10.

A 48-year old female motorist was stopped at a red light when struck by a tractor-trailer that overturned, pinned the motorist in her car, and poured out 25 tons of cargo sand, killing the victim by compression asphyxiation. The surviving husband, 2 minor children, and 2 adult children sued the driver for driving negligence and the employer trucking company for vicarious liability; for negligent hiring, retention, supervision, and entrustment; and for violation of federal and state statutes (for 3 sets of brakes being out of adjustment) – and were awarded $79,740,000.00, including $60,000,000.00 punitive damages. Id.

Mr. Waterman has been an AAJ/ATLA member over 2 decades. His practice includes trucking and other vehicle accidents, medical malpractice cases, and other personal injuries and wrongful deaths.