A California jury has awarded a truck accident victim $4.68 million in a negligence suit against a Florida-based trucking company. The verdict was awarded last week in Alameda County Circuit Court on behalf of Hector Zuniga, 53, who was severely injured on Nov. 17, 2008, when the car he was driving was rear-ended by a Carroll Fulmer Logistics Corp. truck.
An accident reconstruction expert testified at trial that the truck was speeding, negligently caused the crash, and crushed Zuniga's car by lifting it off the ground and pushing it down the expressway, according to a report in the Daily Commercial. The lawsuit contended the truck driver quickly changed lanes and rear-ended Zuniga’s 1990 Honda.
Zuniga’s injuries ultimately led to spinal surgery requiring the insertion of three artificial implants into his neck. Zuniga claimed he was incapable of returning to work at his $50,000 per year job. The jury found that the trucking company was responsible for all of Zuniga’s injuries and awarded him nearly $1.5 million for lost wages and medical expenses.
Zuniga was also awarded more than $1.5 million for pain and suffering which, according to the treating physicians who testified at trial, was “constant throughout each and every day” and would remain that way for the rest of his life, the report said.
Carroll Fulmer Logistics, which was represented at the trial by Zurich Insurance Co., has more than 120 employees at its corporate office in Gloveland, FL, and more 30 remote offices and agents nationwide.