A Waco mother and her two sons, injured almost three years ago when a Sanderson Farms truck crashed into the back of their car, have settled their lawsuit with the chicken processing company for $27.5 million. Judge Vicki Menard approved the agreement during a hearing that came after the parties in the case had been through two mediation sessions. Jim Dunnam, who represents the family along with Robert E. Ammons, said the proceeds from the settlement involve three insurance companies for Sanderson Farms and will be divided into three trust accounts that the family can draw on for long-term health and educational needs for the two boys. One of the boys was 2 weeks old at the time of the accident and suffered severe brain damage that likely will leave him incapacitated for the rest of his life. The boy, who is almost 3 now, cannot speak, walk or crawl.
The mother, who was waiting to make a turn onto another road, suffered a compound fracture to her left arm and other injuries in the November 2013 collision. Her older son, who was 2 at the time, suffered minor scratches on his neck. The infant, who was in a car seat in the back, suffered a fractured skull, massive brain damage and a collapsed lung. The injuries caused one half of the baby’s brain mass in one hemisphere to die and about a third in the other hemisphere to die, according to the lawsuit. The Sanderson Farms truck was traveling 57 mph when it struck the back of the woman’s car. After the impact, the woman’s car was knocked into oncoming traffic and was hit by a van.
The lawsuit alleges that in the days before the crash, the truck driver worked “long and irregular work hours on a schedule which disrupted his sleep patterns.” On the morning of the accident, the driver said he got up about 5:30 a.m. to drive to work at a chicken farm in Chilton. The driver said he had to be in Chilton between 6:30 and 7 a.m. and that he normally worked 10 to 16 hours a day. In the week before the wreck, records reveal that the driver worked 67.5 hours. Driver fatigue is a very serious problem and lots of folks are put at risk on our highways as a result.
Source: Waco Tribune-Herald
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