A woman has won a huge settlement in a Pennsylvania wrongful death case. Her husband died after being struck by a piece of mining equipment that had fallen off of a tractor-trailer. The woman was awarded $3.2 million in the wrongful death filed against Consol Pennsylvania Coal Co., the tractor-trailer driver and O’Brien’s Rent All and Sales
When the verdict came back, the jury had attributed the majority of the blame to the driver and O’Brien’s, and a small percentage of blame to the coal company. The lawsuit claimed that the coal company owned a coal shearer that needed repairs and was being taken transferred to Pittsburgh. The shearer weighed several hundred pounds and when it was taken apart and loaded into the trailer, one of the pieces of the shearer was placed on top of the shearer and was not properly secured.
The victim was traveling southbound prior to the accident and the tractor-trailer was driving northbound. The unsecured cylinder fell off of the trailer and collided with the front cab of the man’s windshield, killing the man instantly. The woman’s complaint alleges that the equipment was not properly loaded or secured. She believes the warnings listed on the trailer were ignored and the shearer was improperly loaded before the tragic crash. The driver involved has also been criminally charged in connection with the accident.
The Pennsylvania coal company has stated that they plan to appeal the verdict. A spokesman has stated they believe they have reason to appeal the verdict and the company was not responsible for the wrongful death. The lawsuit was a long time coming, but the woman has finally received resolution in this tragic case. Her husband was tragically taken away from her due to apparent negligence, and although the civil suit won’t change what happened, it may give her a sense of justice after the loss of her husband.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Jury awards $3.2 million to widow of man killed in highway accident,” Paula Reed Ward, Oct. 6, 2012