Everyone in the Central Valley has seen thick tule fog and knows trying to drive in it is difficult. A professional truck driver must know this and not take unreasonable risks in the fog. On a cold January morning in 2015, a truck driver, driving a 66 foot long Peterbilt tractor and flat bed trailer ignored his training and attempted to pull the empty trailer across Highway 152 near Los Banos in heavy fog. The truck driver could not see if traffic was coming and knowing it would take him 12-15 seconds to cross the roadway, he took a chance that cost one woman her life and another, our client, a long list of serious injuries.
A line of cars was traveling on Highway 152, below the speed limit, when the car in front of the line struck the side of the trailer as it blocked both lanes of the highway. The driver was killed and the passenger, our client, was left with a fractured arm and a fractured hip.
The truck company refused to accept responsibility for the negligent act of its driver and they litigated and stalled for over two years. As the trial date approached, the insurance company for the truck driver finally was forced to step up and be responsible. At the Mandatory Settlement Conference held just three weeks before trial, the insurance company agreed to pay the woman $655,000.00.