Posted On: February 26, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

$4 Million Wrongful Verdict Awarded to Family of Man Killed in Truck Accident

A jury has awarded the family of James Brashear $4 million in their wrongful death case against a construction company and one of its subcontractors. The 42-year-old father died late at night on October 1, 2007 when his car was rear-ended by a semi-trailer going at 70 mph.

Brashear’s vehicle was at the end of a line of cars that were stopped in traffic on Interstate 75. His son Tyler sustained serious injuries during the truck crash. One other man and at least nine other people were injured.

Brashear’s family has resolved their wrongful death case with the trucking company that employed trucker Pablo Merlos. The trucker was eating while driving and was not wearing shoes when the semi-truck crash happened. Merlos was accused of not making much of an effort to stop the large truck for 10.5 seconds as it proceeded to hit other vehicles. His truck left 27 feet of skid marks at the crash site.

This $4 million wrongful death verdict was awarded against Zep Construction and Traffic Control Systems Inc. The jury is deciding how much in punitive damages the two defendants should pay for consciously ignoring drivers’ safety on the highway.

The Brashears had accused Zep of failing to proper the proper safety procedures before stopping traffic. They noted that electronic warning signs, which Traffic Control Systems was contracted to provide for the bridge repair project, were not in place that night.

Zep’s attorneys tried to blame the semi-truck crush on Merlos, but the jury only found him 5% liable.

Chicago, Illinois Truck Crashes
There may be more than one party that should be held liable for your Chicago, Illinois truck accident case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your large truck crash, construction companies in charge of traffic zones, vehicle manufacturers, and government entities are just some of the possible liable parties.

Jury awards family $4 million for fatal accident, Herald Tribune, February 25, 2010

Efforts Lag to Improve Safety at Work Zones, The New York Times, December 21 2010

Related Web Resources:
Truck Accidents, Nolo

Road Construction, Getting Around Illinois

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