Family awarded $40.8M wrongful death and injury settlement in accident caused by trucker who fell asleep

In mediation, the family of Susan Slattery, 47, has settled a wrongful death and negligence claim against a trucking firm for $40.8M in damages for the trucking accident that claimed Slattery’s life and seriously injured her two sons.(Citation: Slattery v. Estes Express Lines, Inc., No. 1116-CV-13913 (Mo., Jackson Co. Cir. June 22, 2011).)

In two separate mediation sessions, Slattery’s family was awarded $6.2 for their wrongful death claim, $1.2 million for Slattery’s son Peter’s injuries and $33.4 million for her son Matthew’s personal injury claims.

Slattery was driving with her sons Matthew, 12, and Peter, 15, when a large truck pulling triple trailers rear ended her vehicle. The force of the crash caused Slattery’s car to be pushed under the rear of another semi trailer.

Slater died at the accident scene.

Slater’s son, Matthew, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident. He was hospitalized for a month and is disabled, requiring 24-hour care. His future care and life care costs ranges from between $22M to $30M.He has difficulty communicating as he suffers from aphasia as a result of his head injury.

Slater’s son, Peter, has mostly recovered from injuries which included fractures to his pelvis and face. His medical expenses totaled around $220,000 and he is still unable to participate in sporting activities.

Trucker’s Negligence
The Slattery family claimed that the semi-truck driver, Douglas Bouch, driving for Estes Express Lines, fell asleep at the wheel causing the accident. They made a claim against Estes Express under the doctrine respondeat superior. They also claimed that Estes Express failed to have an adequate plan to supervise their drivers.

Doctrine of Respondeat Superior
The legal doctrine of respondeat superior states that, in certain circumstances, employers are responsible for the actions of their employees if the employee committed the negligent action in the course of their employment.

In the 80’s and early 90’s, Domino’s pizza had a campaign “30 minutes or it’s free”. Domino’s ended this policy after delivery drivers in a rush to get the pizzas delivered in the prescribed time frame were involved in car accidents. The company was sued under the doctrine respondeat superior and discontinued the policy.

We Can Help Victims of Semi Truck Accidents
The Washington semi truck accident lawyers at The Farber Law Group are here to help you if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident with a semi truck or a vehicle owned by a company or by the government. We have more than 30 years experience representing victims with serious injuries and families with their wrongful death claims. We provide a FREE and confidential case evaluation.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Bellevue to assist you.

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