COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbus attorney Scott Elliott Smith was one of two attorneys who secured a $10,988,793.11 verdict on behalf of a trucker who was severely injured in an accident involving a Schwan's frozen food truck.
The negligent Schwan's driver, Debra Roberts, did not possess a commercial driver's license (CDL). Schwan's delivery trucks have a 26,000-pound rating, one pound under the legal requirement where drivers must possess a CDL.
The injured truck driver, Douglas Dyer, was represented by Smith and fellow attorney Michael Leizerman.
On the night of Dec. 17, 2007, Dyer was driving a semi-tractor on Route 68 in rural Logan County, Ohio. Roberts was driving the Schwan's truck on Route 274 westbound and stopped for traffic where Route 274 intersects Route 68. The intersection forms an "X", creating a 50-degree angle for Roberts to see to her right.
Roberts pulled up to go directly across Route 274, instead of angling perpendicular to Route 68. Due to her angle to the intersection, she could not see Dyer's truck – an error that Dyer's attorneys argued was avoidable.
"Ms. Roberts was neither experienced nor trained to consider the limited visibility from inside the truck cab," Smith explained. "When she blindly pulled into the intersection, Mr. Dyer had to swerve to avoid a collision."
Smith noted that none of the 6,000 Schwan's delivery drivers nationwide are required to have a CDL. "Operating these frozen food trucks safely requires a level of training and experience that Schwan's has not provided – and that puts everyone on the road at risk."
Dyer's injuries required five surgeries, and he ultimately had to stop driving trucks.
The jury returned the nearly $11 million verdict on June 2. (Dyer v Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation et.al., Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 09CVC-12-18581).
"We hope the verdict will result in Schwan's developing a better driver training program," Smith said. "By taking this step, they can prevent similar collisions in the future."
About Smith Law Office
Scott Elliot Smith is a lawyer based out of Columbus, Ohio. He has three decades of experience in cases ranging from car and truck accidents to medical malpractice and premises liability.
Contact: Attorney Scott Elliot Smith
Smith Law Office
Arlington Falls Business Center
5003 Horizons Drive, Suite 200
Columbus, OH 43220
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SOURCE Smith Law Office