Driving in winter weather can be dangerous, particularly driving in the snow. In the case of J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. and Brown v. Zak, many personal injuries resulted from these conditions. In this case, in January 2006, Terry Brown was driving a semi tractor-trailer for his employer. He was driving in snowy conditions on the highway when he lost control of his semi-truck and it ended up jackknifed and disabled in the median on the highway. Brown tried to reduce his speed on the road, but he did not believe that he had to pull over. After the accident, he called the police and they did not believe that the truck would pose as a safety hazard while they were getting a tow truck.
About an hour later, Matthew Robinson was driving with his fiancée, Kristen Zak, as the sole passenger. Conditions worsened and Robinson lost control of his vehicle. It crashed into Brown’s semi-truck and Zak suffered permanent brain damage as a result. Zak’s guardians would file a complaint alleging negligence against Brown and his employer, J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. After the trial, the jury returned a verdict of $32.5 million for Zak. They apportioned fault 30% to Hunt, 30% to Brown, and 40% to Robinson. Hunt and Brown would appeal the decision. They tried to argue that if the second accident would not have occurred if Robinson had kept his vehicle under control. The Indiana Court of Appeals had upheld the decisions of the trial court. The Court determined that had Brown not been driving negligently, the first accident would not have occurred and the semi-truck that caused Zak’s brain damage would not have been there at the median of the highway.
If you or a loved one have been affected by an accident or death, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Hurst Limontes, LLC. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a FREE and confidential consultation.