Fatal Tanker Truck Accident has Jury Awarding $58.5 Million
I guess the trucking industry will get this message when a jury in New Mexico Awarded $58.5 Million.
Last Wednesday a jury in Santa Fe, N.M., awarded $58.5 million to the estate of a man who died following an fatal tanker accident involving an oil industry tanker, a record-breaking verdict for that Southwestern state, according to the Associated Press.
The verdict in the wrongful-death suit included $47 million in punitive damages for the death of Kevin Udy, a Carlsbad, N.M., resident. In rendering the verdict, the jury foreman also read a statement in court, according to AP.
The jurors said that they “expect a much higher standard of safety and training from the trucking industry,” AP reported.
Udy, a mechanical engineer, was married with five kids and a stepson.
In 2010 a tractor-trailer tanker, carrying water extracted from oil wells near Carlsbad, collided with Udy’s pick-up truck, according to AP. The truck turned left in front of Udy’s pickup, who then hit its trailer.
The defendants in the lawsuit were the truck driver; Zia Transport of Hobbs; and Bergstein Enterprises and Standard E&S LLC, both of Lubbock, Texas.
The jury held all four defendants negligent, and for the punitive damages said that the three companies were “malicious, willful, reckless and wanton,” AP reported.
The defense said it planned to appeal.