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In a confidential settlement reached in DeKalb County, Georgia last week, one of the nation’s largest trucking companies agreed to settle a personal injury case for approximately fifteen times the amount of the client’s actual medical bills. The law firm responsible for the settlement, Shiver Hamilton in Atlanta, was not able to release the names of the parties because of the confidentiality agreement within the settlement.
According to the original complaint, the defendant tractor-trailer driver caused an accident that injured the plaintiff. He had been driving after work hours, but still in his work tractor-trailer truck. The truck driver admitted to consuming straight gin before getting into the truck, which he admitted to using for personal use after completing a delivery. The truck company, also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, initially denied knowing that the worker had used the truck after work hours for personal use. Later, however, documents were uncovered that showed the company knew and allowed the worker to use company trucks on weekends for personal use. Industry specialists were prepared to testify that the trucking company violated federal regulations by failing to properly evaluate the driver’s employment and driving history.
After some negotiating and declining an initial settlement, the plaintiff’s lawyer was able to settle the case for an undisclosed amount that was fifteen times the actual amount of medical bills.