$2.5 Million Dollar Settlement for Over-The-Road Truck Driver

$2.5 Million Dollar Settlement for Over-The-Road Truck Driver
It was snowing and sleeting in the late evening hours of February 8, 2005 in Ralls County, Missouri and driving conditions were hazardous due to the weather and road conditions. John F. Downing was operating a 2000 Kenworth 9600 tractor/trailer northbound on Missouri Highway 19 in Ralls County, Missouri. Michael Hale was operating a 2001 Mack 460 tractor/trailer southbound on Missouri Highway 19. Hale lost control of his vehicle on a curve, jackknifed and crossed the centerline, causing Downing’s tractor to collide head-on with Hale’s trailer. Downing suffered an open fracture of the left fibula with massive left leg soft tissue injuries and open dislocation of the left ankle, as well as a fracture to the right fibula, and fractures of the radius and ulna of the right forearm. On February 17, 2005, Downing underwent a below-the-knee amputation of his left leg.

Downing filed suit against driver Hale and his employer, Willis Shaw Express, Inc. (“WSE”), in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri alleging, among other things, that Hale was operating his commercial motor vehicle at a high and dangerous speed under the conditions that existed at the time of the crash. After extensive discovery, and the depositions of Michael Hale, the safety director of WSE and a corporate representative of WSE, the parties agreed to a settlement of Downing’s claim for a sum of $2.5 Million.

Type of Action: Personal Injury/Semi-Truck Crash

Court/Case Number/Date: Circuit Court of Jackson County, Case No. 0516-CV-21483

Caption: John F. Downing v. Willis Shaw Express, Inc. & Michael Hale