A driver who was paralyzed when his faultily-service truck went out of control has been awarded $14 million compensation for a truck accident after a hearing at Mobile County Circuit Court.
Colin Lacy from Mobile, Alabama, was driving his employer´s tractor-trailer along Interstate 10 near Niceville in Florida when – on July 14th 2011 – he lost control of the vehicle. He tried to stop the truck safely, but the antilock brake system failed and the vehicle overturned.
Colin´s spine was severed in the accident and as a result spent more than two months in hospital followed by a long period of intense rehabilitation. He is now paralyzed from the waist down and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
After speaking with a lawyer, Colin claimed compensation for a truck accident against Empire Truck Sales LLC – the company who serviced his truck shortly before the accident – and the manufacturer of the vehicle´s seat belt, Indiana Mills and Manufacturing Inc.
In his claim for compensation for a truck accident, Colin alleged that his employer´s truck had been serviced by Empire Truck Sales in June; but three days before the accident he had noticed that the truck was vibrating and had returned it to the dealer for an inspection.
The mechanics at Empire Truck Sales failed to notice that a lateral rod had been left detached during the original service and allowed Colin to drive it away.
The claim for compensation against Indiana Mills and Manufacturing Inc. was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum; but no agreement could be reached on how much compensation for a truck accident Colin was entitled to from Empire Truck Sales.
Consequently the case went to Mobile County Circuit Court, where it was presented to a jury before Judge Michael Youngpeter. Although both the plaintiff and the defendant were based in Mobile, the trial was heard under the laws of Florida – where the accident happened – and the jury was asked to rule of what proportion of blame should be attributed to Empire Truck Sales.
After two weeks of testimony, the jury retired to consider their verdict. While they were deliberating a “High/Low” arrangement was agreed between the parties so that Colin was assured of a minimum $2 million compensation for a truck accident and a maximum of $14 million. Consequently when the jury returned a verdict of $18.79 million, the $14 million cap was applied to the settlement.