Tractor Trailer Accident Lawsuit Results in $51.5M Verdict Over Freightliner Brake Failure

A New Orleans jury has awarded $51.5 million to the family of a woman who was run over by her husband’s Freightliner truck, after the emergency brake on the tractor trailer failed and caused the vehicle to roll over her and cause severe crushing injuries and brain damage. 

The verdict was returned on April 12, in what is believed to be the largest ever given to a single plaintiff in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

The family of Connie Jones Marable brought the lawsuit against Freightliner Trucks, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, after she was severely injured in a Lowe’s Home Improvement parking lot truck accident in 2012. Her husband’s employer, KLLM Transport Services, and her husband’s insurance company were also defendants in the complaint.

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According to the lawsuit, the tractor trailer emergency brake failed on her husband’s 2007 Freightliner tractor trailer, causing it to unexpectedly roll over her when she tried to help him stop it from rolling away.

Marable was caught under the wheels and dragged, suffering catastrophic injuries and brain damage. She was left in a minimally conscious state and receives constant nursing care.

The lawsuit was brought by her children, Bill and Engelique Jones, accusing Daimler of failing to provide adequate safety features and of equipping the truck with a substandard parking brake system. The jury decided Daimler was 90% responsible for Marable’s injuries. However, it also decided her husband was 10% responsible for telling her to try to help him stop the truck.

Officials from Daimler Trucks have indicated that they believe their vehicles are safe and are considering their next steps following the jury’s verdict.

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