The families of two road workers who died after being struck by a box truck will collect $10 million each as part of a settlement in the case.
According to Luke Rankin of Rankin & Rankin, which represented one of the parties, the matter concerned a 2019 accident which involved multiple vehicles struck by the runaway truck as it careened out of control, apparently due to braking issues caused by a broken pushrod.
“There were arguments over that issue but ultimately, it was confirmed by the independent inspectors after the collision that the pushrod was detached and had been for some time,” he said.
Rankin indicated that the defendant struck two other vehicles before hitting the decedents, ages 29 and 35. The pair perished of their injuries by the time medical help arrived.
The names of the parties in the case were confidential under the terms of the settlement.
Rankin said that the truck was deemed to have been unfit for use by an inspection after the fact.
“It should not have been on the road that day,” he said.
He said that an electronic control module recorded a braking attempt that did not stop the truck.
“That was an argument we made that they did not have a safety policy to require and ensure that their drivers knew how to do a proper pretrip [inspection],” he said. “We contended that had he merely looked, he would have seen that that pushrod was broken and detached. Had he seen it, he would not have left the warehouse that day.”
The time of the braking attempt also came after the initial contact which led to additional speculation by the plaintiffs that the driver might also have been asleep. However, the defense denied this.
Morgan Martin, who represented the other decedent’s family in the case, said the matter was resolved despite protracted litigation.
“It was certainly a tragic case for the families and ultimately I think we got a fair result for them,” he said.
SETTLEMENT REPORT – WRONGFUL DEATH
Amount: $20 million settlement
Injuries alleged: Death
Case name: Confidential
Venue: Horry County
Case No.: Confidential
Insurance carrier: Confidential
Attorneys for plaintiff: Luke Rankin of Rankin & Rankin, (Conway); L. Morgan Martin and Mary Ashley Martin of the Law Offices of L. Morgan Martin, (Conway)
Attorney(s) for defendant: Confidential