A federal magistrate judge has ruled in a non-jury bench trial that a man severely injured in a highway crash that killed three people is entitled to more than $13.8 million from a truck driver and his company. In addition, the man’s wife has been awarded $4.2 million. The crash left Mark Tiburzi, who was 53 years old at the time, under constant care in a nursing home, unable to walk or talk.
The truck driver, Jeffrey D. Knight, was blamed for the wreck. The truck driver was reaching for a cell phone and distracted when his tractor-trailer rig crashed into vehicles on an interstate highway on July 15, 2008, causing the three fatalities and 14 injuries. The driver and the trucking company, Holmes Transport Inc. located in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, were ordered by U.S. Magistrate Judge David D. Noce to pay damages for Mr. Tiburzi’s injuries.
In addition, the Judge ordered that Mr. Tiburzi’s wife, Cheryl, will receive more than $4.2 million from Holmes Transport Inc. The couple has two children and a grandchild. Tiburzi, a district sales manager for Famous Footwear, was on a business trip when the crash happened. The truck driver violated regulations by driving beyond the maximum hours allowed over an eight-day period.
There are other lawsuits pending arising out of this incident. Two of the persons killed were Amish from northeastern Missouri who were heading to a funeral in Tennessee with a hired driver. Another man, a copier salesman, also was killed. At least two other families have civil suits pending against the driver and the company.
Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch
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