A federal jury in Arkansas returned a $7 million verdict in a Missouri truck accident lawsuit on November 10, 2011. The Missouri wrongful death lawsuit concerned a double semi-trailer accident that occurred Arkansas.
The Missouri semi-trailer accident occurred as accident victim and plaintiff Roger Reagan of Farmington, Missouri drove a semi-trailer on eastbound U.S. 62 in Arkansas. Morgan Quisenberry, the negligent truck driver and defendant, drove across the centerline of the highway in a large semi-trailer. Quisenberry caused multiple Missouri tractor trailer accidents, striking two other vehicles before crashing into Reagan’s tractor trailer.
Reagan was able to get out of the vehicle, but he was still trapped under the truck. Reagan was surrounded by fire, injured. Rescuers pulled him the wreck but he died on route to an area hospital. Reagan is survived by his widow and two children.
The jury returned a verdict of $7 million after a five-day federal trial. The jury found that Dunaway Timber Company, Inc., the trucking company that employed Quisenberry, was responsible for 75% of the fault of the accident. Quisenberry was responsible for 25% of the fault.
This accident highlights the devastation that occurs when trucking companies fail to take public safety seriously. Dunaway Timber hired Quisenberry despite two previous license revocations. The trucking company did not train Quisenberry after hiring him. The fatal Missouri truck accident occurred within the first few weeks of Quisenberry’s employment.
Quisenberry failed to obey the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) hours of service regulations. The FMCSA enacts and enforces strict regulations that govern how many consecutive hours a truck driver can operate a tractor trailer. Hours of service regulations are designed to prevent truck accidents and Missouri truck accident fatalities. Interstate trucking companies must obey the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations. According to an attorney involved in the case, Quisenberry had been driving hours beyond the federal daily maximum when the accident occurred.