California Truck Accident Lawsuit Results in $13.7M Verdict Over Three Deaths

A California jury has awarded $13.7 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of three individuals who died in a multi-truck accident in 2012. 

Quoc Thang Dang, his sister, Thuy Trang Thi Dang and Thanh Mhan Thi Nguyen, their friend, died on November 27, 201,2 when their Honda Accord was struck head-on by a truck driven by Liwei Xu of Oakland.

Xu’s truck was out of control after hitting a 500-pound bale of cotton, which spilled on the road when a tractor trailer driven by Jose Luis Batres was struck by another truck driven by Armando Suarez, Jr., causing the load of cotton to spill on the roadway.

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The incident started when Batres attempted to make a left turn across two lanes of traffic on State Route 152 and Road 16 on a foggy morning. The three victims, all from San Jose, were on their way to work in Dinuba, California when the accident occurred.

The victims were reportedly commuting the distance from San Jose to Dinuba in order to save money to put their children through college.

The families of the three, who left behind spouses and seven children in total, filed wrongful death truck accident lawsuit against Batres, the company he worked for, Western Milling Company; Suarez and the trucking company he worked for, Semper Trucking; as well as Xu and his employer, Well Trucking.

The jury found Batres was 75% responsible for the accident, and Xu was 25% responsible. Batres should not have attempted the turn in that visibility, and Xu was driving too fast in foggy conditions, the jury ruled. The Dang family received $8.5 million and Nguyen’s family was awarded $5.2 million.

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