$15 Million Awarded in Motorcycle Accident

Author: Hanson & Hanson/Monday, September 8, 2014/Categories: Auto Accidents, Curated Articles

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Carl Simmons and another motorcyclist were killed in Orlando in 2011 after running into a tractor-trailer leased by Landstar Ranger Inc. and driven by Roger Wirick. In one of the largest motorcycle-accident judgments in Florida, the family of a motorcyclist has been awarded nearly $15 million.

Wirick had driven 11 hours and 10 minutes, although he was legally allowed to drive only 11 hours. Before driving, he had taken a nine-and-a-half hour break, while the required break time is 10 consecutive hours.

Thomas Schmitt, the lead trial attorney for the case, said he was able to compare the paper logs with a digital black box that was installed in the truck by the owner. The comparison showed discrepancies. "There is quite a bit of falsification of logs," he said.

Schmitt said the crux of the case was not only that the driver was over the legal amount of driving when he hit Simmons, but that a major trucking company like Landstar still allows the use of paper logs, while most major companies have switched to electronic logging.

"The trucking company was not only negligent vicariously, but independently for failing to have electronic logging," Schmitt said.

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Photo Credit: Roxie Mummert

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