A settlement has been reached in the Texas lawsuit against a Phoenix, Arizona trucking company for the
death of three family members and the serious injury of a fourth.
On Oct. 21 Frank L. Branson, attorney for the victims, reached a settlement with Swift Transportation Co., Inc. for $15 million. Branson claimed that the driver of the truck, Douglas Spencer Waters, was liable for the accident after losing control of the 18-wheel truck and crashing into the victim's Chevy Trailblazer on the opposite side of the road. The accident occurred near Colorado City, Texas.
Killed in the crash were Casey Tyrone Baxter, 30, his daughter Jaleigha Tatiana Williams, 9, and, Ms. Williams' mother, Sue Pratt Williams, 49. Baxter's wife, Joanna Sue Williams, 28, was severely injured.
Branson claimed Swift was negligent for failing to adequately maintain the tractor-trailer and for failing to notice Mr. Water's falsified his driving logs, amongst other charges. Experts testified that the truck's left front wheel was worn and that front-end alignment problems caused the steering wheel to shake.
Further evidence showed that Mr. Waters and his co-driver were traveling at 66 mph in rainy conditions when he lost control of the truck and barreled into Baxter's SUV. Branson charged both Waters and Swift with negligence and gross negligence for how Waters operated the truck.
"We subsidize trucking companies by allowing them to use public roads. These trucks owe us an obligation to make our safety their top priority," said Branson. "In one instant, this family suffered a devastating tragedy from which it will never recover."
Texas personal injury law, which governs
truck accident cases, holds truck drivers liable for any injuries, death, or damages that occur as the result of an accident caused by negligent or reckless behavior.
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