Case details

Bus driver claimed spinal injuries from tractor-trailer crash





Result type

Not present

back, mental, neck, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological, PTSD
On Aug. 28, 2008, plaintiff Jimmy Duncan, 50, a bus driver, was driving a charter bus full of elderly passengers on Columbus Parkway near Vallejo when it was struck by a tractor-trailer with a loaded set of doubles operated by Juan Velazquez. Coming to rest, the bus was trapped between the tractor-trailer and the wall of an overpass that they narrowly missed colliding into. The bus was destroyed and Duncan claimed spinal . Duncan sued Juan Velazquez; his employer, Velazquez & Sons Trucking Co. Inc.; and its owner, Jesus Velazquez; as well as Consolidated Velazquez & Sons Trucking Co. Inc.; G3 Enterprises Inc.; Sun Valley Express Transport Inc. and Sun Valley Express. He alleged that Juan Velazquez was negligent in the operation of his vehicle and that the remaining defendants were vicariously liable for his actions. Juan Velazquez was hired just days before the collision by Velazquez & Sons Trucking Co. Inc. in order to haul grapes under a subhaul agreement with Sun Valley Express Transport Inc., which had a long-term subhauling contract with G3 Enterprises Inc. As a result, G3 Enterprises coordinated and dispatched the load on the tractor-trailer and was also the owner of the two trailers being hauled. Plaintiff’s counsel presented testimony stating that G3 Enterprises knew that the demands of the contract in effect with Sun Valley Express Transport required it to hire subhaulers. Thus, counsel contended that G3 Enterprises was vicariously liable as a motor carrier, and liable based on negligent selection and entrustment. Prior to trial, all defendants other than G3 Enterprises admitted liability for the collision. Instead, G3 Enterprises filed a motion for summary judgment, but it was denied., It was undisputed that Duncan had two previous cervical surgeries in 1991 and 1998, but had since returned to work full-time without incident for over two years before the August 2008 accident. It was also undisputed that Duncan had no ongoing complaints or limitations, beyond a lifting restriction, between 1998 and 2008. Following the August 2008 accident, the Jaws of Life were required to evacuate Duncan and the passengers from the bus. Duncan was evacuated on a stretcher through the front window and taken to the hospital. He claimed severe to his cervical and lumbar spine and subsequently underwent lumbar and cervical surgeries in 2011 and 2012. Duncan also claimed significant post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the accident, causing him to suffer nightmares. He alleged that as a result, he cannot return to gainful employment. Defense counsel disputed the extent of Duncan’s , contended that all his alleged complaints were the result of the two prior neck surgeries that occurred in the 1990s.
Superior Court of Solano County, Solano, CA

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