Published on:

Employer of Truck Driver Held Liable in Accident for Failure to Ensure Safe Crossing across Bridge

Earlier this month, a federal appellate court upheld a jury verdict in favor of a woman who lost her husband in a truck accident that occurred on a narrow bridge between Missouri and Illinois. In the case, Brown v. Davis, the court determined that both the truck driver and the truck driver’s employer should be jointly liable for the accident.

narrows-bridge-287553_960_720Brown v. Davis: The Facts of the Case

The defendant was the owner of a company which was transporting logging equipment across state lines. As a part of the truck’s journey, the driver had to negotiate a narrow bridge across the Mississippi River. The employer was traveling in front of the truck, and did so to ensure that the truck’s route was safe. This mean crossing the bridge in front of the truck, and ensuring that no oncoming traffic came over the bridge as the truck was crossing, because the truck’s load made it too wide to fit within a single lane.

However, the employer failed to stop one motorist from crossing the bridge. As that motorist approached the truck about half-way across the bridge, the truck driver moved over to allow the vehicle to pass. However, as the truck moved over, the logging equipment on the trailer struck the side of the bridge and came loose. The passing motorist then collided with the equipment and was killed as a result.

The Defendant’s Argument

The employer argued that he did not owe a duty to the crossing motorist, and even if a duty was present it was not violated by his conduct. However, the plaintiff presented a local sheriff who testified that it was standard procedure for a truck driver or their employer to contact him prior to crossing so that he could officially close the bridge. In addition, the truck driver testified that he or his employer would normally arrange to close the bridge for the crossings, but this time their efforts were unsuccessful.

This testimony showed the court that the employer knew that the bridge needed to be closed prior to the truck’s crossing, and his failure to properly arrange for the bridge to be closed resulted in the fatal truck accident that claimed the motorist’s life. Thus, the court affirmed the $3 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Truck Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in any kind of Georgia truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation based on the negligence of either the truck’s driver or the driver’s employer. To learn more about Georgia truck accidents, and to speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney about your case, contact Miller Legal Services at 770-284-3727 today to set up a free consultation.

See Related Blog Posts:

Negligent Drivers Injured in Georgia Auto Accidents May Still be Entitled to Compensation, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 25, 2016.

Georgia Governing Law on Damages That a Plaintiff May Be Awarded in a Personal Injury Lawsuit, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 10, 2016.