A U.S. Middle District Senior Judge issued a ruling on Monday, January 6, 2014, that the other parties in a fatal truck crash must pay the victim’s estate administration expenses, in addition to more than $2 million in damages. Eric T. Claxton, a semi-truck driver from Memphis, died on November 13, 2009 following a fiery truck collision with another trucker. Claxton was just 36 years old at the time of his death.
Also travelling in the truck with Claxton was his co-driver, 44-year-old Erick Burks, who also died as a result of the crash. The driver of the other semi-truck involved in the crash was Sukhwinder Singh. Claxton’s family pursued a wrongful death lawsuit against Singh and his employer, PVR Transport, a Selma, California-based trucking company.
According to accident reports, the crash occurred at around 3 a.m. when Singh missed his turnoff at an intersection. He pulled off the highway and then re-entered without using his flashers or signaling his intentions. Claxton was travelling eastbound at the same time, and rear-ended Singh’s trailer. The collision caused Claxton’s cab to burst into flames. He was killed instantly, and Burks died one month later. Burks’ estate was awarded a $2.3 million judgment in May of 2013.
The lawsuit filed by the family of Claxton was successful. They were awarded $100,000 in punitive damages against PVS Transport, $2 million for lost wages, $100,000 was for pain and suffering, and $1,290.50 for estate administration expenses.
The Law Office of James F. Roberts & Associates, APC would like to extend sincere condolences to the Claxton and Burks families following this tragic crash.