On January 6, 2005, a 79-year-old farmer was traveling southbound in a full-size pickup on the service road of U.S. Highway 59 near Spur 10 in Rosenberg, Texas. Traveling northbound at the same time was a tractor-trailer whose driver was engaged in his job duties for D&C Trucking.The tractor-trailer driver attempted to enter the highway to his left. Although the pickup truck driver had a yield sign, it was alleged that he did not yield. The tractor-trailer struck the right front of the pickup, killing the driver.After hiring Vuk Vujasinovic, the pickup truck driver’s five adult children sued the tractor-trailer driver and also David Nieto, the owner and operator of D&C Trucking. This wrongful death lawsuit demanded compensation for mental anguish and loss of companionship and society. The surviving children also filed a motion for sanctions against D&C Trucking for spoliation, the failure to retain important documents relevant to the case—in this instance, the tractor-trailer driver’s logs and qualifications.
The plaintiff’s team hired an accident reconstruction expert whose analysis indicated that the tractor-trailer’s driver did not activate his turn signal. As for the deceased farmer’s actions, the accident reconstruction expert said that confusing road design and placement of the yield sign meant that the sun was in the pickup truck driver’s eyes, making him unable to see the yield sign.
The defense claimed that the deceased pickup truck driver was solely and fully responsible for the accident. A settlement agreement was reached before the case went to the jury.