Lake Charles Jury Awards $10.8M in Wrongful Death Trucking Case

A Calcasieu Parish jury awarded a total of $10,800,240.35 in a wrongful death trucking accident case. That sum included a $5,000,000.00 exemplary damage award, $2,000,000.00 for each parent for the loss of their only child, $1,395,956.06 for the injuries to the mother, $142,558.59 for the injuries to the father, and $250,000.00 for the child’s survival damages. Blake R. David at Broussard, David & Moroux was lead trial counsel in the 14th Judicial District Court in Lake Charles.

The evidence at trial proved that on March 5, 2006, a G.B. Boots Smith Corporation tractor-trailer operated by Brian S. Montgomery was traveling northbound on LA 27 in Calcasieu Parish, ran a red light, plowed into the family vehicle outside of the intersection, and continued another 250 feet after the accident. The jury found that Montgomery was impaired while under the influence of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana (based on test results from Louisiana State Police Crime Lab). Dr. Joseph Manno (toxicologist) explained the jury how the negative DOT drug test taken after the accident was “diluted”. Discovery revealed that Montgomery failed two other crystal meth tests with another employer. Accident reconstructionist Mike Gillen testified that Montgomery had over 1300 feet (and over 11 seconds) to stop his vehicle before the impact.

This carnage resulted in the death of a child (age 2) and severe injuries to her mother (in the hospital for about a month and missed her daughter’s funeral). Eyewitness testimony revealed that the two-year-old suffered after the accident. Her death left the parents, who were married and in their early 20s at the time of the accident, childless. Due to a prior condition of the mother, the parents are physically unable to have any more children.

The judge in this matter directed verdict on negligent hiring and retention.

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