In 2007, a California truck driver, Raymond Mariolle, was driving a waste management truck, when the front right hub on his Volvo truck fractured and the wheel fell off, sending Mariolle’s truck crashing to the ground.
As a result of the sudden impact, Mariolle, who had already suffered back problems, suffered severe compression injuries to his spine and had to undergo three unsuccessful surgeries to help alleviate the pain.
Mariolle, a driver for more than 20 years, attempted to return to work and was taken off of driving duty, but he was in such tremendous pain, he had a hard time making it through the day. In August 2010, Mariolle left his job.
Out of work and still in pain, Mariolle filed a lawsuit agains the makers and manufacturers of the rig.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “His lawsuit said Consolidated Metco, which made the hub, Volvo Truck, which built the cab and chassis, and Wittke Manufacturing, which designed the truck, all knew the hub was defective and overloaded and failed to warn drivers or the public.”
Jurors on the trial found that the truck, cab, wheel hub chassis were defective and were responsible for Mariolle’s injuries and awarded him an $11.4 million settlement: $2.4 million for lost wages and medical costs and $7.5 million for pain and suffering. The jury also awarded Mariolle’s wife, Regina, $1.5 million for loss of marital and family relations.