A recent Pennsylvania Jury Verdict Review & Analysis summarized the Pisanchyn Law Firm’s $1.5 Million Motorcycle Accident recovery.
1,5000,0000 Recovery – Motor Vehicle Negligence – Negligent Lane Change – Motorcycle/Truck Collision – Alleged Wrongful Hiring and Retention of Truck Driver – Wrongful Death at Age 65
Lackawanna County, PA
The plaintiff’s decedent was a 65-year-old retired male who was operating a motorcycle when he was involved in a fatal collision with one of the defendant trucking company’s tractor trailers. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s truck driver negligently entered the decedent’s travel lane and caused the collision. The plaintiff contended that the truck driver was negligently hired and retained by the defendant trucking company. The defendant denied the allegations made by the plaintiff and disputed the amount of the damages allegedly caused by his death.
The decedent was driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Carbon County October 3, 2013, towards Philadelphia at the time of the accident. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s tractor tailer encroached on the decedent’s lane and pushed it into the concrete barrier. The decedent died shortly after the collision as a result of the injuries sustained. He and his wife were in the process of adopting their grandchild at the time of his death.
The plaintiff argued that, within ten minutes of the fatal collision, the defendant trucking company sent its attorney and insurance adjuster to the scene. When the State Policed requested that the defendant’s driver take a drug and alcohol test, the driver refused. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant allowed its drivers to avoid mandatory drug tests and continued to employ the driver in question, despite a poor driving record. including prior driving violations, collisions, and a history of drug use.
The case was settled prior to trail for a total of $1,500,000.00.
Burke vs. Defendant Trucking Company, Case no. 2013-01206; Judge n/a, 03-25-16.
Attorney for plaintiff: Michael J. Pisanchyn Jr., of the Pisanchyn Law Firm in Scranton, PA.
A callus picture of the defendant’s behavior in this motorcycle/truck collision case was painted by the plaintiff’s counsel. It was claimed, that while the decedent’s body laid on the highway with a tarp over it, the defendant trucking company and insurance company could only think about getting to the scene as quickly as possible to minimize its financial exposure. It was also emphasized that the truck driver refused to submit to an alcohol/drug test at the scene.
The plaintiff’s position was assisted by a video statement given by the truck driver’s then-girlfriend. This witness stated that the truck driver out of “habit” always used drugs while driving the 20,000 pound vehicle. Further, the former girlfriend claimed that the defendant trucking company knew of this and told its drivers in advance when a random drug test would be coming so the driver could prepare to overcome it.
The statements made by the former girlfriend, along with the truck driver’s record including several collisions, eight pages of driving violations and a criminal history of drug use, could have proven insurmountable for the defense had the case reached trail. In addition, the plaintiff had evidence of at least one drug test which stated that the truck driver’s urine was “Diluted.” Thus, the case was concluded by way of a $1,5000,000 settlement.