Missouri Truck Accident Lawsuit Results in $18M Verdict

A judge has awarded more than $18 million to a couple after the husband was permanently disabled in a fatal highway accident allegedly caused by a truck driver reaching for his cell phone.

Mark Tiburzi, 53, was severely injured in a Missouri truck accident on July 15, 2008, which killed three people and injured 14. The crash was caused by truck driver Jeffrey D. Knight, 49, who now faces involuntary manslaughter charges in St. Louis County.

Prosecutors claim that Knight got distracted while reaching for a cell phone, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In addition, they say that Knight was in violation of truck driving regulations because he drove longer than the maximum hours allowed over an eight-day period.

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As a result of the injuries suffered in the accident, Tiburzi was left permanently disabled and unable to walk or talk. He now requires nursing home care.

Following a bench trial last month, U.S. Magistrate Judge David D. Noce awarded $13.8 million to Tiburzi and another $4.2 million to his wife, Cheryl. Noce found that Knight’s negligence was the most likely cause of the accident, awarding the damages against the truck driver and the company he was driving for, Holmes Transport, Inc.

There are also at least two other truck accident lawsuits pending against the driver and trucking company, brought on behalf of other victims of the fatal crash.


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