A jury has returned a complete defense verdict for a major international food processing company after a three-day federal court trial in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company’s truck driver was involved in a fatal trucking accident and Zach Mayer, Brian Fisher, and Edward Johnson of Kane Russell Coleman Logan defended the case for their client.
Plaintiff’s counsel presented evidence that the defendant’s truck driver violated several hours-of-service regulations and was improperly utilizing the off-duty personal conveyance time allowed under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, according to court documents. Plaintiff’s counsel also claimed that the driver’s employer had been made aware of his undiagnosed sleep apnea and argued that driver fatigue contributed to the accident. Further complicating the defense case, there were three independent eyewitnesses who testified that the truck driver had merged into the other driver’s lane, causing the fatal crash, according to the trial transcript.
“We had to overcome several difficult issues at trial to secure a win for our client,” said Zach Mayer, Director at Kane Russell Coleman Logan. “Allegations of a truck driver being over hours is always a tough piece of evidence for a jury to digest. We’re pleased the jury reached the right conclusion in spite of what looked like a really strong case for the plaintiff.”
The KRCL trial team mounted an aggressive defense against the plaintiff’s allegations and secured a win for their client with evidence gathered during their early investigation, as well as testimony from the investigating troopers and accident reconstruction expert. KRCL deployed members of its rapid response accident investigation team to the scene of the accident to gather evidence, and used accident reconstruction experts to recreate the sequence of events that occurred leading up to the crash. KRCL’s animation demonstrative exhibit effectively displayed how the collision occurred, which included the points-of-view from the three eyewitnesses, and showed that the driver of the other tractor-trailer actually initiated the accident by rear-ending their client’s tractor.
“The evidence ultimately showed that our client’s driver was not at fault,” said Brian Fisher, Director at KRCL. “Our early investigation performed by our rapid response accident investigation team was instrumental to our defense.”