Texas Court of Appeals Affirms $16.5 million Verdict in 18-Wheeler Fatality Case

On November 30, 2020, the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas, Texas, issued an opinion affirming the $16.5 million jury verdict awarded to the Plaintiffs – the family of Bhupinder Deol, who lost their loved one in an 18-wheeler collision caused by the trucking company, New Prime, Inc. New Prime was found responsible for the death of Bhupinder Singh Deol after a multiple-vehicle crash in November 2013 on Interstate 40. A trial court jury awarded the family of Deol nearly $16.5 million in actual damages.

The incident, which occurred in November 2013, involved a New Prime driver, who jackknifed her tractor-trailer on an unlit stretch of Interstate 40 going eastbound in Texas near the New Mexico border. The trucker had lost control of the tractor-trailer after applying the brakes and sliding on a patch of ice. The cab was partially on the left shoulder with the trailer blocking all of the left lane and half of the right lane of traffic. The trucker abandoned the truck without activating its emergency flashers or setting out any reflective triangles or flares. Along with her team driver, the two walked through the center median toward the westbound traffic to get to a safe area.

Soon after, six tractor-trailers and two passenger vehicles crashed into or around the New Prime truck. Deol’s tractor-trailer was the first to strike the truck. In total, four people were killed, including Deol, and several more were injured. Deol’s family filed a lawsuit against New Prime Trucking Company in Dallas County, Texas. The jury found the New Prime trucker 55% responsible, New Prime 30% responsible, and a trucker for P&O Transportation, another trucking company involved in the crash, 15% responsible.

After the jury verdict, New Prime continued to dispute that its driver was negligent. However, both the trial and appellate court pointed out that the inclement weather was foreseeable with a National Weather Service winter weather advisory. Additionally, the trucker drove into slippery conditions going 58 mph on cruise control. Ultimately, the Court of Appeals rejected all of the arguments made by New Prime and affirmed the jury verdict, which awarded $16.5 million in damages to Deol’s family.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of the negligence of others, it is important to find a skilled law firm to handle your claim. The law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner is the older personal injury firm in Texas, and our attorneys can assist you with your claim. Call us today at 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1-888-229-5094.