When you drive past a semi-truck and see the name “FedEx” on the side of it, you likely assume that you can trust not only the company, but the driver behind the wheel as well. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
In 2018, an appeals court in New Mexico upheld a $165 million judgement against FedEx after a semi-truck that FedEx had contracted slammed into a parked GMC passenger truck about 20 miles west of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Two of the three occupants in the GMC were killed: 22-year-old Marialy Venegas and her 4-year-old daughter.
In January 2015, a Santa Fe jury rendered the $165 million judgement – the largest civil award in New Mexico history at that time. FedEx vigorously appealed the judgement, arguing that the verdict was, “tainted by passion, prejudice, partiality, sympathy, undue influence, or a mistaken measure of damages.” The Court of Appeals rejected FedEx’s argument and upheld the $165 million judgement.
A FedEx media representative issued the following statement in response to the Court of Appeals decision: “Safety is our highest priority, both within our company and across the network of service providers and their employees.” This statement is a hard pill to swallow given the prevalence of poorly trained truck-drivers on the roads today.
What does all of this mean for you if you were injured by a FedEx truck? For starters, it means that FedEx will likely fight you tooth and nail to avoid paying you for the damages FedEx caused. If FedEx thinks that a multi-million-dollar judgement for the death of a 4-year-old girl and her 22-year-old mother is a “mistaken measure of damages” that is “tainted by passion and prejudice,” what do you think they will say about your claim?
This means that you need someone who will fight for you. We have handled numerous cases against FedEx. We know FedEx’s business model. We know about the shell games that FedEx and other trucking companies will use (i.e. arguing that various key players are “independent contractors” instead of employees), and we are ready to meet an aggressive defense with an aggressive offense. The regulations involved in semi-truck crashes are numerous, confusing, and ever changing. You need a lawyer that takes the time to study these regulations (known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations) in detail—We do.
We all hope that one day trucking companies will regularly take accountability for the damages caused by their semi-trucks. Until that happens, however, you should be represented by attorneys that know trucking cases and that are prepared to do the work to hold them accountable. Let the well-trained lawyers at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima fight for you after a semi-truck crash.