Posted on Monday, July 29th, 2019
Sierra Tucker, 26, was driving in Lake City when an Ecosmart truck suddenly made an improper left turn across oncoming traffic and cut into her lane. Unable to avoid the collision, Tucker was hit head-on by the truck. She suffered a complex laceration of her right arm, a two-inch laceration to her forehead, and multiple sprains and strains. Tucker was unsure of how she would be able to pay for the damages to her vehicle and medical costs, so she turned to Coker Law.
Fraudulent CDL Leads to Prosecution
After researching the trucking company, Attorney Stefano Portigliatti was able to uncover that the driver had a fraudulent trucking commercial driver’s license (CDL). Not only was the driver’s CDL fraudulent, but Ecosmart sent him on a run knowing that he would be going over the allowed hours of service. Both the fraudulent CDL and surpassed maximum driving time were factors that lead to the head-on collision between the Ecosmart driver and Tucker.
Coker Law’s investigation into the driver’s background revealed that the “trucking school” he attended was a fraud run by Russians that rubber-stamped requirements for unqualified drivers to obtain their licenses. The trucking school was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Department of Transportation, and subsequently prosecuted. The owners and co-conspirators of the fraudulent trucking school were all convicted and sentenced.
Liability Didn’t End At The Truck Driver
At Coker Law, we thoroughly investigate all potentially liable parties to ensure we receive the best possible verdict for our clients. We examine the entire transportation cycle for liability: the truck driver, trucking company, tractor-trailer owner, maintenance shop, loading warehouse, manufacturer of a defective component, or any other individuals or organizations responsible for a road hazard that contributed to the crash. Due to the fraudulent nature of the incident, as well as corporations leasing equipment and drivers to each other without regard for the regulatory requirements of equipment of exchange, it took almost two years to uncover all the liable parties.
The Coker Law team representing Tucker originally asked for $2.5 million to cover her pain and suffering, damage to her vehicle, and medical bills. However, the jury of Columbia County decided to award Tucker with $3.25 million, thanks to the efforts of Attorney Stefano Portigliatti, Co-counsel Patrick V. Douglas and Paralegal Allison Johnson.
“Columbia County is known to be a very conservative county in terms of verdicts,” said Portigliatti. “This verdict shows how a well-presented story of injustice can really move jurors to take care of a member of the community.”
Case Title: Tucker v. Ecosmart Trucks, Inc.
Attorneys/Staff Involved In Case: Attorney Stefano Portigliatti, Paralegal Allison Johnson, Co-counsel Patrick V. Douglas.
Date of Jury Verdict: 7/9/19
Amount of Jury Verdict: $3,250,000
Speak with an Experienced Trucking Crash Attorney
The trucking team at Coker Law has successfully represented hundreds of individuals who have suffered injuries, and families who have lost a loved one due to trucking accidents. We have the resources, investigators and experience to take a trucking case to trial, which can better maximize the financial compensation for our clients. You may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to your injuries if you are injured by a negligent driver. To speak with attorney Stefano Portigliatti or another trucking crash attorney or for more information, call (904) 356-6071 or click here to schedule a free consultation.