The attorneys at Nance Cacciatore have obtained some landmark verdicts and settlements involving trucking accidents.
One great example is a case where S. Sammy Cacciatore was retained by the family for the death of the patriarch and matriarch of the family. The deceased was 75 years of age and a retired postal worker. His wife was also 75 years of age and together they were survived by three adult children in their forties and several grandchildren. They were driving north on Interstate 95. As they approached the Beeline Expressway along with two other vehicles, a semi-tractor trailer traveling southbound failed to notice a white car that pulled out from the median shoulder. Because of his inattention, the truck driver never reduced speed but rather turned into the median, crossing it and jack-knifing the trailer across both of the northbound lanes, instantly throwing a “barndoor” across the lane that our client’s vehicle was traveling. There was an instant collision and our client had no time to take any evasive action.
Our firm utilized a large amount of witnesses in the case. The truck driver testified that he had noticed the white car parked in the median shoulder over 1300 feet earlier. Another truck driver ahead of him testified that he, too, had noticed this car and had moved into the right lane with no problems. Furthermore, the truck involved had various violations of truck regulations including faulty front axle brakes that would have put it out of service. The defense claimed that this was a sudden pull-out and that there was nothing the truck driver could have done to avoid this wreck.
This case was consolidated with the cases of the other victims. S. Sammy Cacciatore was one of the lead counsels in preparing this case for trial. Because of the positions taken by the truck driver and the company for which he was driving, it was a technical case involving trucking experts, accident reconstructionists, trucking regulation experts, and depositions from various witnesses and truck drivers from all over the country. A trucking expert testified that as a professional driver, the defendant had a responsibility to keep alert of hazards and potential hazards ahead.
A car sitting in the median was a potential hazard and as the other truck drivers had done, should have been anticipated. The defendant had not considered that vehicle as a hazard and never slowed down. When the vehicle did start to pull out, he testified that the defendant’s actions were also inappropriate because he did not attempt to stop and went into the median which posed a significant danger to oncoming traffic.
A professional engineer was hired to reconstruct the accident. From his reconstruction, it was established that if the defendant had applied his brakes, this tragedy could have been avoided. The defense in the case also hired a professional engineer to reconstruct the accident. Under careful cross-examination, the professional engineering expert for the defense actually admitted that had the defendant simply applied his brakes instead of taking the action that he did, he would have been able to stop without striking the white car.
On the morning of trial just before the selection of the jury, the defendants finally settled the case. On behalf of the adult three children, Nance Cacciatore was able to obtain a total settlement of $2,550,000.00. Our firm was very pleased with this outcome as was the victim’s family.