In the case of Sandberg Trucking, Inc., and Horn v. Johnson, in April 2008, a tractor-trailer owned by Sandberg and driven by Horn was southbound on I-65 when it struck a deer in the dark leaving its dead remains on the road. Horn then stopped his truck approximately 250 feet down the roadway on the shoulder. He exited his truck to examine the damage to it but did not activate any of his truck’s emergency flashers or hazard lights until 90 seconds after he parked. Around the same time, Johnson’s fiancé, Joshua, was driving from the north and in an attempt to avoid the deer remains spun out of control into Horn’s parked truck. This accident would kill Joshua and severely injure Johnson.
Johnson sued Sandberg Trucking, Inc., and Horn for negligence, and a jury found them 30% liable for Johnson’s injuries awarding her $2.13 million. Sandberg Trucking, Inc., and Horn would argue that there was insufficient evidence to sustain the jury’s verdict because they believed that the trial court allowed the jury to base their verdict on an impermissible speculation. They also believed that the trial court erred in concluding that they had a duty to warn fellow motorists of a hazard in the road and that there was no evidence to support the significant jury award. The Indiana Court of
Appeals held that their arguments were to be without merit and affirmed the verdict of the trial court.
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