A court recently sided with a husband and wife trucking team who survived a hair-raising crash that the judge found was caused by Volvo’s negligence.
Truck Suddenly Lost All Electrical Power During Snowy Night Drive
The crash took place on January 31, 2009, near Falcon Lake, Manitoba. Amandeep and Pavandeep Hans were returning home after a long trip that had taken them into the U.S.
From the court documents: “On a dark, cold, snowy winter night a long haul trucker was driving his fully loaded tractor-trailer on the Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba. Without warning all electrical power was lost. All lights were extinguished. Darkness enveloped the truck. The driver lost all control of the steering and the trailer. Sparks began to fly amid the sound of screaming tires as the landing gear of the trailer scraped along the highway. The trailer jack-knifed and came towards the driver’s side of the truck’s cab. The driver and his wife, who had been resting in a bunk to the rear of the cab, both feared they would die.”
Mr. Hans reportedly screamed, “what happened… what happened?” and then “we are going to die… we are going to die” during the crash.
Mrs. Hans, fearing that the truck would catch fire, was able to help her husband out of the truck and onto the cold roadway.
Truckers Say That The Crash Caused Significant Psychological Damages
Though neither driver was seriously injured, court documents claim that Mr. Hans suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the crash.
The Hans claimed that Volvo was responsible for the crash because they were “negligent in designing, manufacturing and installing a critical cab positive terminal electrical connection.”
Volvo denied that claim in court. They also claimed that the Hans were exaggerating the extent of the psychological damages caused by the crash.
Judge Sides With Truckers Against Volvo
The judge sided with the Hans, finding that his PTSD claims were credible and that Volvo was at fault for the electrical failure in the truck. The court ordered Volvo to pay the couple $4,867,694.75 for damages, lost earning capacity, and for the care of Mr. Hans.