Plaintiffs suffer permanent injuries in Arkansas tractor-trailer crash

Location: Sharp County, Arkansas

Plaintiff: Two sawmill workers
Defendant: Trucking company and driver
Amount: Confidential settlement
Alleged Injuries:  Negligence and vicarious liability in a tractor-trailer accident that left two men with multiple, severe injuries

Description:  In February 2009, two coworkers were passengers in a pickup truck heading back to work at a sawmill just after lunch. A tractor-trailer driver was heading in the opposite direction on that same road. Both vehicles were approaching a sharp, dangerous curve known for accidents.

The truck driver sped around the curve, causing his trailer full of coal to break free, crash to its side and careen into oncoming traffic. Another car in front of the pickup truck had to swerve off the road to avoid being plowed by the runaway trailer, but the driver of the pickup truck did not have time to react. He and his passengers had to be rescued with the Jaws of Life and taken to the hospital. 

Passenger 1 suffered multiple fractures. He had surgery on his hip and had to use a wheelchair for more than five months. He can walk, but with significant pain. The limitations imposed by his injuries make it nearly impossible for him to find full-time, competitive work.

Passenger 2 injured his leg and needed surgery, as well as skin grafts and wound treatment. He now walks with a cane. Before the accident, he enjoyed hiking, rappelling, fishing and hunting, but he is unable to do any of that now. His difficulty walking long distances or standing for long periods without the cane prevent him from returning to the work he used to do.

Our investigation determined that the truck driver was dismissed from his previous job and not eligible for rehire. When he applied for a job with the new company, they ignored that and hired the driver based on an off-the-record comment that he was a “good guy.” The driver failed to disclose previous accidents when he applied for a job.  He did not accurately log his hours of driving, as required by federal law, and was not properly trained by the trucking company.

The driver and the company exhibited a reckless disregard for Department of Transportation regulations, as well as their own company safety policy. Their actions reflected a complete indifference to the safety of the victims, leaving the plaintiffs with permanent injuries.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Class Action

Location: Phillips County, Arkansas

Plaintiff: Kelly Leoppard, Martha Wright and Ozzie Griffin, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated
Defendant: Alltel Communications, Inc.
Amount: Confidential settlement
Alleged Injuries: Claims of usury, breach of contract for overbilling and deceptive trade practices

Description:  Our clients alleged that Alltel Communications, Inc. breached its contract with customers by charging unauthorized amounts and violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Article 19, §13 of the Arkansas Constitution by charging usurious interest on past due accounts. The company also engaged in a deceptive trade practice in the marketing, sale and implementation of its calling plans.

Alltel charged more than 200,000 Arkansas customers late payment fees that were not authorized by the company’s contracts with customers for cellular service. The company routinely charged its customers in Arkansas interest that exceeded 5 percent above the federal discount rate, which violated Article 19, §13 of the Arkansas Constitution. Alltel also charged customers for long distance and roaming fees even when customers were placing and receiving calls in local calling areas.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Florida Court of Appeals upholds nursing home verdict

Location: Hernando County, Florida

Plaintiff: Walter Spilman
Defendant: Beverly Enterprises-Florida, Inc. d/b/a Eastbrooke Health Care Center
Amount: $2.7 Million (jury verdict)
Alleged Injuries: Neglect by nursing home leading to infected bedsores and death

Description: Walter Spilman was literally allowed to rot to death while in residence at a nursing home. Infected bedsores, so deep that his bone tissue was exposed, were a major contributor to his death. The jury returned a verdict of $2.7 million.

In what was perhaps the most important ruling in this area of law in over a decade at that time, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals set a new standard for recovery of damages on behalf of Florida nursing home residents who die because of mistreatment by upholding the verdict.

Judge Winifred J. Sharp concurred specially with the opinion, adding: “There is little I can add to Chief Judge Peterson’s excellent opinion in this case. I write only to say we should never cease to be shocked by Man’s inhumanity to Man, no matter the circumstances. And, a remedy must always be afforded.”

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