$5 Million Verdict Returned to Family of Young Man Killed by Big-Rig

semi-truck crashAccording to Tuscon News, a jury in Maricopa County, Arizona returned a $5 Million verdict to the parents of Paul Troupe, a young man who was struck and killed in a semi-truck accident.

According to reports, Paul’s wife, Sarah, was scheduled to receive an award at an aerospace engineer convention in Pheonix, Arizona. It was on their way from St. Charles, Missouri to the convention in Pheonix that they were struck from behind by a tractor-trailer. The driver of the big-rig, Brian Knoll, fell asleep behind the wheel.

The collision caused the Troupe’s SUV to be jolted forward into multiple other vehicles, slide across the highway, and strike a wall before spinning out. The vehicle immediately caught fire and was consumed with smoke. Passerbys stopped on the side of the road and pulled the couple out of the burning SUV, but for Paul, it was too late.

Paul, just 22 years old at the time of the accident, died as a result of his injuries. Sarah, just 23 years old and Paul’s wife for less than six months, sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital.

Knoll, the driver of the big-rig, had no memory of the collision and appeared to be impaired at the scene of the accident. Although his bloodwork showed that he was below the legal cut-off limit in Arizona, he admitted to taking a prescription muscle relaxant the night prior to the collision. He also made statements to the police that he felt “groggy and sleepy” and continued to drive for financial reasons. He admitted to knowing the dangers of driving in his condition but said he would lose money if he stopped to sleep. Knoll was criminally charged and pled guilty to three counts of felony Endangerment, admitting his reckless conduct.

Although defendants were convinced that the jury would not return a verdict of anything substantial to the parents of a 22-year-old married man or that a jury would never find that Knoll’s actions warranted punitive damages, they were proven wrong when the Arizona jury returned a $5 Million verdict in favor of the victim and his family.

 

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