On July 17, 2018, Texas jurors awarded a $101 million verdict to Joshua Patterson after his vehicle was struck from behind by a FTS International employee driving a tractor-trailer in September 2013. Due to the collision, Mr. Patterson suffered significant neck and back injuries, which ended his career as a crane operator. Further, the verdict awarded was especially large because the Texas jury found egregious liability on the part of FTS International and their employee truck driver, William Acker. Of the $101 million, nearly $75 million was attributed to punitive damages levied against FTS International.
FTS International is an oil services company with a fleet of trucks carrying sand and other material needed to frack a well. The Texas jury found that FTS had strict policies for their truck drivers yet did not abide by them. Evidence showed an FTS policy stated if a driver had three or more violations in 36 months prior to the date of hire then they would not be employed. Nevertheless, Acker had clearly three violations involving other collisions in the 36 months so he should not have been eligible to be hired in the first place. Additionally, there was testimony that Acker signed documents attesting to have gone through various safety training courses that were not fully truthful. Even further, Acker was found to have methamphetamine in his system at the time of the wreck.
Patterson hopes that this large verdict will send a ripple effect to the trucking industry to tighten up their safety standards for the well-being of everyone on the public roads.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking collision, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.