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Truck company settles lawsuit for $9.5 million

It may be easy to understand why those traveling on Rome's streets and highways may be intimidated by the large semi-trucks and commercial vehicles on the road. Their massive size makes for dangerous potential should they be involved in an accident. However, motorists often take comfort in the assumption that not only do the companies that own these vehicles maintain them to the highest of standards, but also that those operating them are more than qualified to do so. Unfortunately, in many cases, that is proven to be untrue. 

An accident that occurred three years ago in California serves as an example of this. A truck transporting dirt lost control and caused a 10-vehicle accident which resulted in a man's death. Sadly, he was the second member of his family to die in a car accident. His family eventually filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the truck, alleging negligent hiring and training practices, as well as poor supervision. That action recently ended with the company agreeing to a $9.5 million settlement. 

The legal concept of respondeat superior allows people to hold employers responsible for the negligent actions of their employees. The only condition needed to apply this principle to a liability case is that an employee must be in the course of completing duties incident to his or her employment when the accident occurred. While that appears to certainly be the case in this example, the issue of negligence on the part of the company itself in its operations was also brought up. Cases like this where multiple parties may be at fault can become quite complex. Thus, those looking to initiate legal action in them may want to secure the services of an experienced attorney. 

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel "Family settles wrongful death lawsuit" Todd, Michael, Aug. 17, 2017

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