Last week the Dallas News reported that Pioneer Drilling agreed to a $16 million settlement in a case involving the death of a woman who was killed after two large pieces of gas well equipment feel from a Pioneer tractor-trailer truck. One piece of equipment struck the woman’s small truck and killed her.
The family of the victim, Rhonda Kay Henson, 41, had sued Pioneer Drilling as well as the truck driver, Daniel Armstrong, for negligence and wrongful death. During his testimony, Armstrong admitted to numerous driving citations, accidents, and license suspensions. He also admitted that he and other Pioneer Drilling employees falsified and back-dated documents in his employee file after the fatal accident occurred.
“So you’ve lied to this jury as we’ve been here today?’ asked attorney John David Haart, who represented Henson’s family. “Why do you continue to lie while this family is here who have lost a loved one?”
“Yes, sir,” said Armstrong. “I don’t know.”
We can learn a lot from this case. While on the witness stand, the truck driver revealed that trucking companies will go to extreme lengths when they’re sued, even if that means falsifying documents and destroying evidence. Armstrong also admitted that he was not aware of laws and regulations pertaining to securing large loads. How many other unaware truck drivers with poor driving records are on our roadways?
After Armstrong admitted to lying, the court recessed, and the settlement offer was made. This case is interesting because most people, when sitting in court, will not admit to lying. In this case, the victim’s was fortunate that the truck driver decided to come clean.
As this case illustrates, trucking companies will do just about anything to keep from losing millions of dollars. If you’ve been injured in a tractor trailer accident, or if a family member was injured or killed in a truck wreck, you need to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
In serious injury or fatal accident cases, large trucking companies will have their lawyers and experts on the scene immediately. You need someone working for you to secure evidence before it can be altered or destroyed. Some trucking companies will throw out the driver’s service records unless they are immediately contacted by an attorney.
Your attorney should be familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rules and Regulations that govern tractor-trailer trucking companies. At MLN Law, we have the experience and expertise you need.
We work hard to uncover all the facts so that insurance adjusters, lawyers, judges and juries realize the catastrophic consequences that were caused by a defendant’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. We go the extra mile to make sure you get full justice and full recovery.
If you have any questions about a catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death case, call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.