Fed-Ex Truck Accident Lawsuit Results in $165M Verdict for Wrongful Death
A New Mexico jury has awarded $165 million to the family of a woman and child killed in a 2011 accident involving a FedEx truck.
The wrongful death lawsuit was brought by the family of Mariala Venegas against FedEx, claiming that negligence led to the death of Venegas and her four year old daughter, as the driver of the FedEx truck allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel and was not adequately trained.
Venegas and her child were killed on June 22, 2011, following an accident with a FedEx truck driven by Elizabeth Quintana. Venegas was in a pickup truck pulled to the side of the road on I-10 outside Las Cruces with her hazard lights. At about 1:30 a.m., the FedEx truck slammed into the rear of their vehicle, killing Venegas and her daughter. However, Venegas’ 19 month-old son survived the crash.
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According to a local media report KRQE News, investigators found no evidence that Quintana, who also died in the crash, made any effort to stop.
Following trial, the family was awarded $165 million in damages, which attorneys for Venegas indicate may be the largest wrongful death verdict in New Mexico history. FedEx officials have indicated they intend to appeal the verdict.
The verdict comes a month after the U.S. Senate suspended key laws intended to ensure that truck drivers got enough rest, after heavy lobbying for the trucking industry.
In July 2013, truck drivers were restricted to “only” a 70-hour work week. However, some Republican Senators and the truck industry say that the rule has placed more trucks on the road and increased congestion. In December, they successfully reinstated the industry’s 82-hour work week, which is more than double that of the average American worker.
The amendment, sponsored by Republican Senator Susan Collins, from Maine, claims that the rule had unintended consequences and resulted in more trucks being on the road during rush hour, causing inconveniences for businesses and drivers. However, the trucking industry and Republicans opposed the move all along.
The amendment was slipped into an omnibus bill and shelves the new rules until more thorough studies can be done. It is unclear when, or if, those studies would ever actually occur.
BillJuly 24, 2015 at 10:41 pm
You really don't about this topic, do you? The Hours of Service limit has not changed. These hours may also include waiting for a load in a lounge. No driver is allowed to drive 70 hours in one week. I know you really want to paint a horrible picture of the trucking industry, the same trucking industry that delivered the majority of all products in the US, but they (we) are more safe than you on t[Show More]You really don't about this topic, do you? The Hours of Service limit has not changed. These hours may also include waiting for a load in a lounge. No driver is allowed to drive 70 hours in one week. I know you really want to paint a horrible picture of the trucking industry, the same trucking industry that delivered the majority of all products in the US, but they (we) are more safe than you on the road. We are bigger vehicles and catch more flack than your standard driver, but we are also the safest vehicles on the road.
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