$15 million verdict for tow truck operator struck by tired trucker with falsified logs
Jurors on Nov. 8 ordered Little Bear Transport of Salt Lake City to pay Bruce Austin of Bowie, Ariz., $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages after a five-day trial in U.S. District Court. According to press reports, a Little Bear Transport truck was traveling west on Interstate 10 on Dec. 24, 2002, when it swerved into the median and struck several vehicles involved in an earlier fatal crash; the out-of-control rig then hit Austin, the 58-year-old owner of a tow-truck company, who was in the process of loading up one of the disabled vehicles. Austin’s right leg and left thumb were severed; he also suffered a broken left shoulder and broken ribs. Little Bear Transport admitted the big rig’s driver, Kenneth Virgil Howard, had falsified his logbook before the crash in hopes of making it home for Christmas, according to court documents cited by the press.
The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks.