NonsubscriberSenior Partner Jeff C. Wright Wins Summary Judgement in South Texas for Trucking Client in a Nonsubscriber, Wrongful Death and Survival Action Lawsuit

08/05/2022by Thomas Fee
Texas trial lawyer trucking client in nonsubscriber

On August 2, 2022, Senior Partner Jeff C. Wright of the Fee, Smith & Sharp firm obtained Final Summary Judgment in favor of their national trucking client, in a nonsubscriber wrongful death and survival action lawsuit that was pending in McAllen, Texas. Plaintiffs asserted a multimillion dollar wrongful death and survival action against our trucking client, alleging that Decedent driver was an employee of the trucking company and that the trucking company’s negligence proximately caused the death. In short, Plaintiffs alleged that defendant trucking company was negligent in allowing, permitting, enticing or ordering Decedent to drive in excess of permitted hours and while Decedent had an alleged debilitating and/or disqualifying medical condition/fatigue. On behalf of our client, we denied any negligence. After three years of litigation and completion of fact and expert discovery and depositions, Wright Forte moved for summary judgement on all of Plaintiffs’ claims and causes of action. In a lengthy 19-page opinion, the Court granted final summary judgment in favor of Defendant as a result of finding that (1) Plaintiffs lacked medical evidence and expert testimony sufficient to sustain their claims of negligence premised under the theory that the driver suffered from a medical condition and (2) Plaintiffs’ fatigue claims faltered since there was insufficient evidence placing the element of proximate cause in genuine dispute. This ruling should prove to be helpful to all motor carriers who are Texas non-subscribers, since the defenses to these employee-related claims are limited.

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