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Lumber truck drops load in path of driver, passenger – $2,500,000 Settlement and $160,000 Verdict

Two women traveling in the same motor vehicle were injured when the defendant’s truck dropped its load of lumber directly into their path on a rural road in Pittsylvania County. Both parties filed suit against the trucking company.

The 47-year-old driver was seriously injured. She underwent nine surgical procedures followed by extensive physical therapy and faced the prospect of at least one future surgery. Plaintiff had an excellent employment history as a factory worker, but as a result of her injuries, could not return to that position. Plaintiff walks with a limp because of her lower extremity fractures.

The 45-year-old passenger sustained a fractured shoulder and cracked rib. She underwent surgery on her shoulder and physical therapy. Plaintiff had no claim for future medical expenses. The case was tried solely on damages.

The defendant, a small trucking company based near Chatham, admitted liability.


Type of action: Lumber truck accident with motor vehicle
Type of injuries: Driver – fractures to both lower extremities and fractured vertebrae; Passenger – shoulder impingement syndrome, which was largely resolved through surgery
Name of cases: Driver – confidential; Passenger – Jacqueline Childress v. Gregory Trucking Company Inc.
Court: Pittsylvania County Circuit Court
Name of judge: Charles J. Strauss
Special damages: Driver – medical bills of $405,000 and a disputed wage loss claim ranging from $586,000 to $850,000; Passenger – medical bills of $41,000 with no wage loss
Verdict or Settlement: Settlement for driver; Verdict for passenger
Amounts: $2,500,000 for driver; $160,000 for passenger
Dates: Driver – April 15, 2010; Passenger – Feb. 23, 2010
Insurance carriers: Cornhusker Insurance and Indiana Lumberman’s Insurance
Plaintiffs’ attorney: Paul G. Beers, Roanoke

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