Trucking Co. Ordered To Pay Arizona Family $19.25M In Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A jury has ordered trucking company Landstar System Inc. to pay an Arizona family $19.25 million following a week-long civil trial. Courtroom View Network was first to report the verdict.

According to the original lawsuit, Michael Bruno drove his 2003 Chevrolet Silverado in July 2011 southbound along U.S. Highway 93 in Mohave County, Arizona when the right, front tire suffered a blowout, causing Bruno to lose control of his car.

As his car exited the roadway to the right, it collided into the rear of a parked commercial tractor-trailer operated by Landstar System, Inc., a company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida.

The lawsuit alleged that two factors played a part in causing the deadly highway accident. The plaintiffs’ lawyer stated that the first problem was that the semi was equipped with an inadequate and substandard rear-protection guard manufactured by Hyundai. Despite properly wearing his seat belt, Bruno lost his life the accident. His wife and daughter also suffered severe and permanent injuries in the accident. Several other passengers inside the car were also badly injured as well, according to the lawsuit.

Prior to the deadly accident, William Gray, the driver of the semi, pulled the vehicle into a pull-over area adjacent to U.S. Highway 93. The lawsuit alleges that instead of parking his commercial vehicle as far from the roadway as feasibly possible, Gray parked his tractor-trailer 12 feet from the roadway, eliminating any “recovery zone” for Bruno.

Lawyers for the Bruno family stated that Gray likely violated company policy when he parked his truck less than 15 feet from the fog-line. In turn, the family’s attorney’s argued that Gray and his company’s “unreasonable actions” caused the accident.

On Friday, it only took a jury a day following a one-week trial to find the trucking company at fault. The attorney who represented the Bruno family told Courtroom View Network that the verdict sends a warning to Landstar and other trucking companies about the safety consequences of parking an 80,000-pound vehicle too close to a busy highway.

According to the news outlet, Friday’s verdict is the second multi-million loss this year for Landstar at a trial over an accident involving the company’s trucks. In January a California state court jury returned a verdict of $34.5 million to a bicycle rider who had his leg amputated after being hit by a Landstar tractor-trailer.

The truck accident attorneys at EJ Leizerman and Associates LLC firmly believe that negligent commercial drivers and companies should always be held accountable for using poor judgment. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to help families who’ve suffered a loss at their expense.

If you or someone you know have been injured by a commercial truck, call us today to learn how we may be able to help with your case. Consultations are free. You can reach us at 1-800-628-4500.

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