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Head-on collision result of dump truck’s failed brakes

$1.225 million settlement

Action: Premises liability

Injuries alleged: Broken left hip, left arm and right leg

Amount: $1,225,000

Date: April 18, 2023

Attorneys: Kenneth Berger and Brad Lanford of the Law Office of Kenneth Berger, Columbia (for the plaintiff)

On Aug. 29, 2022, Ard’s Trucking Service employee Eddie Barber crossed the centerline in a loaded dump truck and hit Joseph “Joey” Kane head-on.

Kane had recently purchased his vehicle, which came with a dashcam that captured the moments leading up to the collision. The video footage showed Barber approaching from the opposite direction, then swerve into Kane’s lane to avoid hitting the car in front of him from behind.

The video and crash site evidence confirmed that Barber was going too fast for the conditions and a vehicle inspection revealed the dump truck’s brakes were badly in need of repair.

The force of the collision broke Kane’s left hip and right leg, as well as his left arm and three toes. Jaws of life were used at the scene and multiple surgeries involving hardware had to be performed by trauma surgeons.

At the time of the crash, Kane was serving in the armed forces and living with his wife on Shaw Air Force Base. The crash and resulting injuries put his military career in doubt; he also faces concerns about future medical needs, including a hip replacement.

Barber claimed that the brakes on the truck failed, which led him to being unable to stop for traffic in front of him or slow down before hitting Kane head-on.

During company owner Stephen Ard’s deposition, he admitted the truck’s brakes were scheduled to be replaced the day before the crash. Unfortunately, the brake work never took place, and instead the truck was loaded up and sent out.

Ard’s Trucking Service’s liability carrier paid their policy limits after the company owner’s deposition. The underinsured motorist carrier paid the combined bodily injury and property damage limits based in large part on the motor carrier’s recklessness.

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