Trucking Company Pays $8,000,000 For Settlement of Wrongful Death - $8,000,000
Alpizar Law has had the honor of representing and resolving a wrongful death claim on behalf of a Palm Bay family. “It has been a pleasure working with this wonderful and special family in bringing this case to a conclusion” said John Alpizar of Alpizar Law. This tragic accident, which took the life of a hard working husband and father of three, occurred in the early spring of 2011.
Our client was traveling northbound on I-95 in the early morning hours on his way to work. At the time our client worked two jobs. His co-workers described him as a wonderful man and a pleasure to work with. While traveling northbound on I-95, our client was struck by a box truck owned by a South Florida trucking company that transported hazardous materials and supplied motor fuels, lubricants, and additives across Florida and the Caribbean.
Our client’s vehicle had developed some mechanical problems which resulted in his car traveling slower than traffic in the right hand lane. Several vehicles, also traveling northbound, were able to observe our client’s slower moving vehicle and its emergency flashers.
They were able to move from the right hand lane to the left lane without difficulty. The South Florida truck, however, was following too closely and put themselves in a position where they could not move from the right hand lane to the left lane upon encountering the slower moving vehicle.
The truck slammed into the rear of our client’s vehicle. Their driver was exceeding the speed limit in a construction zone. He was not maintaining full attention and otherwise ignored traffic conditions. Discovery in the case showed a number of violations of both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Florida State Law equivalent.
In addition, the truck driver, who was a professional truck driver, violated a number of rules of the road as enumerated in places such as the Florida CDL Manual. Alpizar Law retained an accident reconstruction expert, a trucking safety expert and a human factors expert to recreate the crash and develop a theme for the case.
Electronic data was uncovered that showed a pattern of misconduct on the part of the driver that the company knew or should have known about. A motion to amend the complaint to allege a claim for punitive damages was in the process due to the fact that the driver had had two prior similar accidents, including one in another construction zone, resulting in personal injury.
The company had failed to take appropriate corrective measures consistent with industry standards to insure that the habits of their driver were in conformity with safety rules of the road. At the time of the crash our client had no escape route as the entire right side of I-95 had been barricaded with large construction concrete barriers. The barriers continued for at least one mile north and equally to the south of where the collision occurred.
There was no evasive action that our client could take to avoid the massive box truck. There was a complete lack of evidence that the driver of the truck did anything to avoid the crash. In fact, the impact resulted in our client’s car being pushed in excess of 500 feet. Ultimately, the truck climbed on top of our client’s Toyota causing crushing injuries and death.
At the time our client lost his life he was a little bit over 45 years. He had come to the United States from a Caribbean island looking for better conditions for him and his family. He had ultimately brought his wife and three children to Florida and finally to Palm Bay, Florida.
While in Florida, our client worked at least two jobs as did his wife. The children are all graduates of the Brevard County Public School System. At present, the oldest son, who served as Personal Representative of the Estate, is in college and hopes to ultimately attend medical school. The younger siblings are now also heading for college.
John Alpizar was brought into the case and a claim was presented to the trucking company and their insurance carriers, the National Interstate Insurance Company and to Navigators Specialty Insurance Company. Both of these companies provided trucking insurance to the defendants. During the litigation a Proposal for Settlement was filed and the case resolved when National Interstate Insurance Company and Navigators Specialty Insurance Company, on behalf of the trucking company, accepted an $8,000,000.00 Proposal for Settlement.
Alpizar Law wishes to thank our referring partner and the family with which we shared this tragic experience. We are very grateful that we were able to provide our expertise in trucking cases to assist them in having this tragic event make a difference in their lives.
The settlement was one of the largest wrongful death settlements reached in Brevard County for a trucking crash.
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