A jury awarded more than $150 million in damages last month to a 13-year-old girl who watched her family burn to death in a fiery crash on a Southern California freeway. The Los Angeles jury found a California trucking company and one of its drivers at fault in the case.
Kylie Asam was 9 when she and her 11-year-old brother, Blaine, managed to escape from their family’s mangled sport utility vehicle after it struck and got caught under a big rig parked on the shoulder of an expressway nearly four years ago. The two youngsters saw their parents and older brother burn alive after the vehicle they were trapped in caught fire. The verdict included $8.75 million the jury awarded to Blaine, who committed suicide before the trial began on his mother’s birthday. That money will go to Kylie as her brother’s successor-in-interest, but all of the award will be placed in a trust until she is 18 years of age.
The jury found that the truck driver was at fault for parking on the side of the freeway in the early morning darkness without leaving on any light or emergency reflector. The driver and his employer, Watsonville-based Bhandal Bros. Trucking, were found jointly responsible. The wrongful death lawsuit alleged that the truck driver pulled over to sleep, ignoring written warnings that stopping there was allowed only in emergencies. The family was headed north to Oregon to visit relatives for a holiday when the crash occurred on November 22, 2009. Brian Brandt represented the Plaintiff. He did a very good job in the case
Source: Insurance Journal
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