Trucking Accident Wrongful Death Suit Results in $5.2M Verdict
An Oregon jury has awarded $5.2 million to the family of a man killed when he was run over by a truck driver, who was allegedly high on crystal meth and fatigued at the time of the accident.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of Kelly Linhart against Heyl Logistics, a trucking broker that hired Washington Transportation to transport goods for Nestle Waters North America. According to the complaint, Heyl failed to perform due diligence when it hired Washington Transportation.
On September 25, 2008, Linhart, also a truck driver, was standing on the side of the road looking at his vehicle’s brakes on Interstate 5 near Ashland, Oregon, when he was hit by Daniel Clarey, who was driving for Washington Transportation.
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According to allegations raised by Linhart’s family, Clarey fell asleep at the wheel as he came down off of a high from crystal meth, which is a form of methamphetamines concentrated into crystal form so that it can be smoked.
The plaintiffs claim that Heyl Logistics should have never hired Washington Transportation. At the time the company was hired for the job, it was without insurance and had no operating authority. The owner, Eric Rangeloff, had has his authority revoked before for a number of violations, including not performing drug tests on its drivers, the lawsuit claimed.
Clarey has already pled guilty to charges of negligent homicide and driving under the influence for his role in the truck accident. Washington Transportation no longer exists. It is unknown whether Heyl Logistics, based in South Dakota, will appeal the decision.
The jury award will be split between Linhart’s four children.
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