$675,000: Accident Involving Two Semi Trucks

CASE DESCRIPTION: Defendant made a U-Turn in his tractor trailer from the side of the road in front of the Plaintiff in his tractor trailer. Plaintiff was unable to stop in time. Plaintiff brought suit to recover medical expenses and other damages.

RESULT: $675,000.00 total settlement

Vernon B. was traveling Westbound in a tractor trailer rig on Guasti Avenue in Ontario, California, having just left the 76 Truck Stop and was on his way to Mack Trucks. Defendant Donnie C. (also operating a tractor trailer rig) was ahead of Mr. Veron B. and was travelling in the same direction. Plaintiff noticed the vehicle ahead of him pull over to the right hand side of the road. Mr. Vernon B. continued westbound. He then suddenly noticed that the tractor trailer rig which had pulled over to the right hand side of the road was beginning to make a U-turn in front of him. Mr. Vernon B. applied his brakes and swerved to the left, but was unable to avoid hitting the tractor trailer operated by Mr. Donnie C.

Plaintiff argued that Defendant Donnie C. caused the accident by making an unsafe U-turn in the middle of a roadway, thereby violating Mr. Vernon B’s right-of-way. Mr. Vernon B. suffered a broken hip and will most probably require a hip replacement and may possibly require a second hip replacement at some point in time. Due to his injuries, Plaintiff Vernon B. is no longer employable as a truck driver and has had to retrain.

Defendant contended that Plaintiff Vernon B. could have and should have avoided the incident, and was as much or more at fault that Defendant Donnie C. With respect to damages Defendant contends that Plaintiff will not require a hip replacement, and his employability allows him to still earn as much or more money in the future as he made as a truck driver.

TYPE OF CASE: Semi tractor-trailer vs. Semi tractor-trailer

INJURIES: Mr. B. had a broken hip and will probably require a hip replacement and may possibly require a second hip replacement at some point in time.

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: On 9/29/94 at 1: 18 p.m.

PLAINTIFF’S AGE: 29 at time of the incident

OCCUPATION: Truck driver

Richard A. Cohn & Wylie A. Aitken
For Plaintiffs – Vernon & Rebecca B.

James J. DiCesare
Also for the Plaintiffs

David Breitburg
For Defendants – B & D Transport, Inc. & Donnie C.

Josefina M. Walker
For Defendant – Intervenor

DEFENDANT INSURANCE CO.: Vanliner Insurance Co.