HOUSTON, TX — A U.S. federal jury has awarded US$2.6 million to a truck driver who claimed he suffered serious injuries while working on a poorly maintained tandem trailer owned by one of the largest fleets in North America.
According to the attorney for Herbert Willoughby, Swift Transportation aggressively denied responsibility and liability for the injuries that truck driver suffered, however, jurors agreed that the company failed in its obligations to properly maintain its trailer.
Evidence presented at trial showed Willoughby was adjusting a tandem unit attached to a trailer at a Houston Home Depot distribution center in June 2012 when the trailer ran over his foot, resulting in serious injuries.
An independent truck driver, Willoughby owned his truck but contracted to haul the Swift-owned trailer.
“Transportation companies such as Swift too often place profit over safety when it comes to maintenance practices,” said Wesley Ball of Houston-based law firm Farrar and Ball. “The life-changing injuries suffered by my client never would have occurred if Swift had performed routine maintenance on its trailers.”
According to Landlinemag.com, despite the award, the jury found Swift to be 49 percent at fault in the mishap, while Willoughby was 43 percent at fault and the trucker’s co-driver and student was 8 percent at fault.
In the lawsuit, Willoughby claimed Swift knew about problems with the trailer while the co-driver failed to properly assist him.
Earlier Swift filed a countersuit but it was dismissed.
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