Case details

Negligently maintained truck caused occupants’ death: heirs





Result type

Not present

death, loss of society
On June 26, 2011, the plaintiffs’ decedent driver was operating a tractor-trailer, owned by his employer, on eastbound Interstate 10 near Tucson, Ariz. The driver was accompanied by another occupant, the plaintiffs’ decedent passenger. At approximately 12:30 p.m., the truck’s front, left tire failed, causing the decedent driver to lose control of the vehicle. As a result, the truck veered off the roadway and turned on its side, causing it to burst into flames. The driver and the passenger were both killed in the accident. The respective heirs of the decedent driver and decedent passenger sued the owner of the tractor-trailer, the manufacturer of the subject tire and the repair facility that had replaced a tire shortly before the incident. The heirs alleged that the defendants were liable for the decedents’ wrongful death. Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that the tractor-trailer owner negligently owned, operated, maintained, entrusted, repaired and inspected the vehicle. Counsel also contended that the repair shop negligently repaired and inspected the vehicle and that the tire manufacturer negligently designed and/or manufactured the subject tire. The tractor-trailer owner filed a cross-complaint against the tire repair facility, alleging that it had sought to have the left front tire repaired at the repair facility shortly before the incident. The repair facility maintained that it had replaced the right front tire, not the left. Thus, it filed a cross-complaint against the owner of the tractor trailer. Defense counsel asserted that the decedent driver was comparatively at fault for negligently handling the subject truck prior to the tire failure and for failing to inspect the subject truck prior to operating the vehicle., Both the driver and the passenger of the tractor-trailer sustained multiple traumatic and died at the scene. Thus, their heirs sought recovery of wrongful death damages and recovery of damages for their loss of the decedents’ society, comfort, support and affection. They also sought recovery of general damages.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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