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.
On July 6th in northern New York, two cars skidded underneath a milk tanker truck that had jackknifed on Interstate 81. The truck was attempting to avoid hitting a deer when it lost control. Tragically, this incident resulted in the loss of four lives, including a doctor that was in a stalled ambulance on the interstate. This is just one of many examples of tractor-trailer accidents that involve passenger vehicles.
What everyone fears occurred on Monday: a tractor-trailer crash, one dead, a hazardous materials spill, and a busy highway closed for an extended time.
Tractor-trailers driving faster than 75 miles per hour have been linked to higher rates of blowouts and wrecks due to increasing speed limits and tire design, the Associated Press reports.
Heavy trucks are in the news again due to two wrecks in southeast Texas.
Today, local news organizations have reported that an 18-wheeler jack-knifed and is clogging traffic on the East Loop 610. Just four days ago, another tractor-trailer was involved in a crash with a Smart Car. The result was not the inconvenience of a traffic jam; instead, the driver of the car was sent to the hospital in critical condition.
In the last year, states across the national have enacted laws limiting use of cell phones and electronic devices behind the wheel. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving. Nine states and the District of Columbia also ban handheld cell phone use. These laws, targeted at drivers of regular vehicles and commercial vehicles alike, have sought to increase safety on the roadways that are becoming increasingly dangerous due to distracted driving.
A recent fatal accident in Houston, Texas, is just another example of why 18-wheelers and other large trucks should have more stringent standards when it comes to installation and strength of under-ride guards.
A lawsuit has been filed over a school bus and tractor-trailer crash that occurred in Reagan County on October 13, 2010. In the lawsuit, the parents of four children injured in the accident allege negligence against the driver of the tanker truck that crashed into the bus as well as his employer, who has the duty to properly supervise and train its trick drivers.
A minor collision that stopped traffic on an Oklahoma interstate last year resulted in a deadly domino effect when a tractor-trailer truck barreled into a Land Rover that had stopped in the line of vehicles held up by the traffic jam. The Land Rover rammed into another car before rolling off the side of the roadway. According to investigators, the semi truck continued on, without braking or taking any apparent evasive action, rolling over two more cars and dragging them under its wheels before stopping atop a minivan. This tragic tractor-trailer accident left 10 dead.