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Ed Ciarimboli

Ed Ciarimboli

Effectively Using Focus Groups to Hone in on Your Good and Bad Facts

TLU Icon April 18, 2024 5:30 PM||TLU n Demand

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Breaking down a $1,400,000 verdict in disputed liability tractor trailer case against Cassidys Transfer

This matter involved a tractor-trailer crash caused by Defendant Terrance Sellers’ failure to operate his truck with extreme caution on a dark, icy, and snow-covered highway. On the night of January 18, 2016, Plaintiff, Christopher Hood, was driving on interstate 81-North near Cortlandville, New York. He was headed back to Fort Hood Military Base and was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan in the coming days. As Plaintiff traveled down 81-North, due to the hazardous road conditions, his vehicle fishtailed and drifted across the highway, coming to rest somewhere near the edge of the road in the right lane of travel. Suddenly and without warning, Plaintiff was violently struck by Defendant Sellers, who was operating his tractor-trailer at approximately 55 miles per hour, in an unsafe and reckless manner, in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations. Plaintiff sustained injuries, including a broken femur, a fractured pelvis, fractured cervical and lumbar vertebrae, and a concussion.

Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendant Sellers and his employer, Cassidys Transfer, alleging: negligence and negligent hiring/supervision/retention.

The case dealt with the following issues:

1. Liability was an issue from the date we received the case. The police report indicated that the Plaintiff was traveling at an unsafe speed and attempted to pass the tractor trailer prior to losing control.

2. Plaintiff testified that his vehicle fishtailed and spun out prior to the crash.

3. Plaintiff further testified that he did not have any recollection of how the crash occurred with the tractor-trailer.

4. Defendants contended that Plaintiff was at fault for the crash.

5. Defendants attempted to prevent Plaintiff’s experts from testifying as to the NYS drivers manual and the FMSCR.

6. Weather was a significant issue for both sides given that it was snowing at the time of the crash.

7. Choice of law - NY v. PA

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