Jury Holds Trucking Company Accountable for Putting Profits Over People

This past year, an Illinois Court of Appeals upheld a $54 million jury verdict that was rendered against an 18-wheeler driver and trucking company for causing a collision that resulted in serious injuries.

David Johnson was working as an 18-wheeler driver for Michigan-based trucking company Universal Am-Can. In February 2011, Mr. Johnson was speeding on the highway when he crashed into another vehicle driven by Mr. James Denton.

While Mr. Denton survived, he was still left with serious injuries that required nine surgeries, including the installation of a prosthetic knee, and has been rendered unable to work. However, the most shocking thing the jury saw was not just the damages Mr. Denton suffered, but the evidence that proved that Mr. Johnson should never have been on the road in the first place.

At trial, it was discovered that Universal hired Mr. Johnson to work as a truck driver even though he never completed a truck driving course. His driving record revealed that in the three years prior to being hired by Universal, he had been involved in four motor vehicle collisions, had three moving violations, and had his license temporarily suspended. Additionally, his driving record was replete with other traffic citations and a felony conviction.

Perhaps the most powerful piece of evidence that influenced the jury was when Universal’s safety director testified that they knew Mr. Johnson was a bad driver but hired him anyway to get more drivers on the road so they could make a profit.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that in 2017, over 4,700 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks. Often times, these tragedies could have been prevented if trucking companies followed reasonable safety policies in the hiring and retention of its drivers.

If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident involving a large truck or 18-wheeler, you need an attorney that is experienced in taking on the trucking industry and the team of lawyers they hire.

The lawyers at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner have decades of experience fighting for the rights of people injured by 18-wheelers. If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a dangerous driver, contact us today by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.