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Settlements for Fatal Truck Accident

Dougherty & Holloway Dec. 22, 2014

On August 4, 2012 at approximately 7:48 AM, 35-year-old Christopher Randen from Marble Hill, Missouri was heading north in a 2003 Buick Century on Interstate-55. At said time and place, Christopher Lynwood, age 60, from Jackson, Tennessee was heading south while operating a 2006 International Tractor.

The crash occurred when Lynwood lost control of his vehicle and crossed the median into the northbound lanes on Interstate-55 at mile marker 149.4. He crashed head on into Randen’s vehicle.

Randen suffered serious injuries and was transported from the scene of the crash to Ste. Genevieve Memorial Hospital by Ste. Genevieve County Ambulance. Lynwood suffered minor injuries and was transported to Jefferson Regional Hospital by Ste. Genevieve County Ambulance.

“We alleged that the trucking company and the driver were negligent in that the driver was driving too fast for the conditions and lost control of the truck,” said Michael P. Corrigan of Padberg Corrigan & Appelbaum.

The petition alleged that the following may have played a role in the crash: fatigue, the defendant had been driving too many hours in violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, inaccuracies in the driver’s hourly log book based on satellite tracking of his truck position, trucker’s use of energy drinks.

Another issue concerned a phenomenon known as “flushing,” which involved the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission as well as a highway contractor Chester Bross Construction Company, which were both named as defendants.

“The truck driver alleged that the roadway was dangerous because it was newly paved asphalt, a condition called flushing, where the oil from the asphalt made the road slick,” said Corrigan. “That was a portion of it and we resolved that part of the case for a small amount.”

The transportation commission contributed about $37,500 to the settlement, according to Corrigan, with another $137,500 paid by the construction firm. Corrigan said that Lynwood’s employer, J.E. Phillips & Sons Inc., paid about $150,000 in addition to the insurance policy limit of $1 million.