Confidential Settlement – Tractor-Trailer Accident
Settlement: Policy Limits (Amount Confidential)
Adam Smith, Gene Riddle, Alex Riddle
A young man was driving his vehicle early in the morning when he collided with a tractor-trailer and died on impact. The defendant blamed our client and denied liability under the doctrine of “contributory negligence” because the nose of our vehicle collided with the side of the defendant’s trailer. Riddle & Brantley filed a lawsuit shortly thereafter because liability was denied. During litigation, we hired an accident reconstructionist, a federal motor carrier safety expert, and an economist (to value the economic losses of his work life). The defense designated 9 experts of their own. We conducted multiple depositions of witnesses and experts and filed numerous motions. The defense fought us every step of the way, even refusing to allow us to inspect their vehicle. We prevailed on every motion filed. The case was ordered to mediation and the insurance carrier for the tractor-trailer company finally tendered the limits of its policy and the case settled. There was never any offer to settle prior to mediation. We thought it was important to act quickly before witnesses and evidence disappeared, and we did so, accomplishing all the above and resolving the case for the maximum amount recoverable from the insurance carrier in about 18 months from the date of the collision. The terms of the settlement included a confidentiality clause where all parties agreed to keep the identities of all parties and insurance amounts confidential.