Founding Partner, Timothy M. Whiting and co-counsel attorney Keenan Saulter secured 500,000.00 dollars at mediation in a challenging case against a large trucking company. The Plaintiff was in a vehicle in which the driver was traveling 102mph down 159th street at or near its intersection with Center Avenue in Harvey, Illinois. The intersection is not controlled by a traffic control device. The defendant truck driver was driving for DNJ Intermodal began his left turn from a stop sign on Center Street and crossed into the intersection of 159th Street. When the truck driver proceeded with his left turn, the Plaintiff’s vehicle crashed into the underside of Defendant’s chassis killing a passenger in the vehicle. Mr. Whiting employed his expertise in trucking regulations and safety procedures to prove the driver and the trucking company’s failure to properly train their drivers in safe practices on taking left hand turns and safely driving at night, and keeping a proper lookout for hazards like speeding drivers led to the wrongful death of his client, despite the Plaintiff’s vehicle’s excessive speed in the case.
Mr. Whiting used federal regulations and industry standards to show how the driver’s choice of a left-turn and the company’s failure to train their drivers on safest route choices was the true cause of the collision that resulted in the loss of life. Why are left turns dangerous: takes longer to clear an intersection with a fully loaded tractor and trailer, it takes longer to accelerate through an intersection with a fully loaded tractor and trailer, it takes longer to get across an intersection with a fully loaded tractor and trailer before oncoming traffic reaches you, in an uncontrolled intersection with oncoming traffic from both sides, may cause a tractor trailer to have to stop in the center and block the lanes of oncoming vehicles, there’s a greater risk to left turns at night because drivers can’t see hazard as quickly as in daylight so there is less time to respond. Why are we here, because Defendant DNJ Intermodal’s driver made a dangerous left turn at night in his fully loaded tractor trailer.
Company’s Safety Failures: Safety Rule #1: A safe trucking company must train it’s driver. Through meticulous deposition practice, Mr. Whiting in deposing the trucking company’s president, uncovered that in the 11 years this individual was with the company, he did not even know whether they had a safety program for training their drivers. There was no training, policies or videos on route planning in determining the most reasonable, direct, and safest route. Safety Rule #2: A Safe Truck Driver and Company must choose the safest, most reasonable and direct route. Both the driver and company president agreed that a safe truck driver must choose the safest, most reasonable and direct route. The driver admitted he only chose the direct route and that if the company had provided training on how to safely route plan and how to safely drive at night, he would have followed it.
Mr. Whiting used these critical admissions to successfully prove the collision was a dual result of the driver’s decision to make an unsafe left turn at night and the company’s systemic failure to train its drivers to make the safest choices on our roadways.
As a result of Mr. Whiting and Mr. Saulter’s efforts, the case was resolved at mediation for $500,00.00.