Truck Accident Nets Nine-Figure Award Notes Truck Accident Lawyer Starke FL
In July, 2018, a Texas court handed what is believed to be the largest award for an accident in which a truck was involved, according to a truck accident lawyer Starke FL. It was levied against FTS International, a company that offers services for the oil industry including operating a fleet of trucks that haul sand and other materials that are then used to frack a well. According to Guodarzi & Young attorney, John Hull, who represented the collision victim, the FTS truck involved in the suit was carrying sand.
William Acker, the driver of the FTS truck, subsequently rear-ended a full-size pickup truck driven by Joshua Patterson as he drove home from church. At the scene of the accident, Patterson told the responding police officer that he had not sustained any injuries. He continued on with the rest of his day.
However, according to Snow Bush, Acker’s attorney, Patterson later sought out chiropractic treatment as well as other medical procedures. Eventually, Patterson had back surgery to address issues concerning the discs in his neck. Bush noted that following this surgery, Patterson was no longer able to work as a crane operator like he did previously.
Hull pointed out that FTS International had established strict policies regarding the hiring of its drivers. This included language stating that the company won’t hire drivers who have had three or more violations within the 36 months prior to their hire date, a common policy according to a truck accident lawyer Starke FL.
In spite of this language, when FTS international outsourced the records check to a third-party vendor, that information apparently wasn’t conveyed to the company or the vendor didn’t discover this crucial bit of knowledge. As Hull pointed out, if FTS International had paid $20 to pull Acker’s DOT driving record, it would have become clear that the man had three violations within the previous 36 months.
Truck accident lawyer Starke FL thinks another source of contention centered on the drug testing policies of FTS International. According to Hull, the FTS International driver had been drug tested about three months before the accident and had been fine. However, Acker testified in court that he used methamphetamine and marijuana about three times a week. Prior to the September 2013 accident, Acker had been off work for three days and smoked marijuana. Additionally, when he was drug tested after the accident, Acker tested positive for both marijuana and methamphetamine.
According to Acker’s attorney, the actions of FTS International regarding its training and onboarding of the driver were the center of much of the trial. For example, there was testimony introduced regarding Acker having signed documents noting that he’d gone through safety training that weren’t wholly truthful.
Hull, Patterson’s attorney sought to explain the enormous award by pointing out FTS International’s complete disregard for their own policies that lead made them liable in this case. Of the $101 million awarded, about $75 million consisted of punitive damages against FTS International.
Individuals who have been injured in an accident shouldn’t hesitate to contact a truck accident lawyer Starke FL. Only with the kind of expertise such an attorney brings to the table can victims see the awards they deserve.