A woman was killed when a truck lost part of its load: 4,200-pound weight used to counter-balance construction cranes. The weight hit the woman’s car, smashing it and thereby causing her death. The trucking company claimed it was not legally responsible for the accident. It pointed to the fact that when the event happened, its truck driver was only going 30 miles an hour in a 55-mile-an-hour zone. They therefore tired to attribute negligence due to the uneven road which thereby caused the truck’s load to become unbalanced and fall off.
Through trial, it was discovered that the 21-year-old truck driver did not have a federal license to even operate the vehicle. Thereafter, the trucking company later admitted that it had no company procedure to train its drivers in securing its loads. Further investigation showed that the heavy load was secured by only two chains instead of the four as required under the law. Finally, an expert could find no defect in the roadway. Rather than allow the victim’s family to argue that the trucking company’s driver was grossly negligent and that it tried to falsify its records to hide the driver’s lack of qualifications, the company settled on the eve of trial for $16 million dollars.