Landstar to pay Louisiana man $4.4M in nonfatal crash lawsuit
February 5, 2020
Landstar must pay a Louisiana man more than $4 million for a nonfatal crash, according to federal court documents. The case focuses on the man’s medical history as a former trucker himself.
On Jan. 28, a jury for a U.S. District Court in Louisiana awarded James Hall of Lake Charles, La., $4.4 million in a lawsuit he filed against Jacksonville, Fla.-based Landstar. After a six-day trial, the jury found Landstar responsible for the crash that occurred more than two years ago.
Court records reveal a complex case revealing Hall’s history of medical issues before the Landstar crash and his employment as a trucker.
The crash occurred on Sept. 4, 2017, on Interstate 10 in Calcasieu Parish, La. Hall was driving his 2002 GMC Envoy going westbound on the interstate. At the same time, Jacques Manassee was driving a 2012 Freightliner tractor-trailer for Landstar on the same stretch of highway.
According to the complaint, traffic on I-10 at the time came to a stop because of major congestion. As Hall came to a stop on the highway, Manassee struck the rear of his Envoy. Hall claims the crash resulted in “severe, crippling and disabling injuries.” In the complaint, Halls claims he suffered serious injuries to his brain, lower back, neck, shoulder, knee, hand, wrist and body as a whole.
According to medical records submitted as evidence, the collision with the Landstar truck pushed Hall’s vehicle into a light pole. Responders discovered a “small laceration on top his head” with the bleeding under control. Although he could not remember the entire event, Hall was able to answer questions correctly while in the ambulance. He was discharged the same day after diagnosed with a concussion and staple wound closure for the laceration on his head. CT scans of the brain were mostly normal. However, scans of the spine revealed abnormalities.
About two weeks later, a medical exam paid for by his attorney discovered “motor vehicle accident-induced traumatic brain injury with posttraumatic stress disorder, memory loss and cognitive impairment.” The doctor also found injuries to the left knee, shoulder, lower back, neck and left hand. Some of the injuries ended up requiring surgery or other treatments. Hall continued to see doctors for various reasons after the Landstar crash up to present day.
Hall had made similar claims in the past.
A medical questionnaire from one employer dated January 2017 reveals Hall suffered a knee and hand injury in 1994 after being hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle.
In 2009, Hall was seeking financial assistance for disability from a knee and hand injury. According to court documents, Hall was walking with a cane and unable to work. Similar documents were filed in 2004 for the same issues as well as a crushed nerve in his back, memory loss and psychological disorders.
In March 2018, Hall sued Landstar and Manassee for negligence. Landstar argued that Hall was at fault for the following reasons:
- Failing to observe the traffic conditions around him and keep a proper lookout.
- Failing to have his automobile under control.
- Driving too slowly and/or coming to a sudden stop on the interstate.
- Driving in a generally inattentive and careless manner.
- Failing to see what he should have seen and do what he should have done.
After six days of trial, the jury concluded that Landstar was at fault. Hall will receive more than $250,000 for past medical expenses and $750,000 for future medical expenses. He also will receive nearly $100,000 for past lost wages working as a truck driver and $800,000 for future earnings losses. Damages for past and future suffering total to $2.5 million.