Record setting $101 million-dollar verdict awarded for trucking crash

Could the record-setting settlement set a dangerous precedent?

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A Texas jury has awarded a massive settlement to a man who was hit by a semi truck driver who was under the influence.

The settlement was handed down in the wake of a 2013 crash during which Joshua Patterson was hit from behind by FTS International Manufacturing truck driver, Bill Acker. Acker was carrying sand, along with other types of fracking material to Ore City, Texas, when he crashed into the back of Patterson’s pickup as Patterson was driving home from church. Acker walked away uninjured from the wreck, while Patterson suffered multiple back and neck injuries, ultimately resulting in chiropractic work and several surgeries.     

Patterson filed a lawsuit against FTS and Bill Acker back in 2013 after the September crash.

This month, 5 years after the initial crash, KLTV 7 reported that jurors had made the unanimous decision for Patterson to be awarded $101 million from FTS International, $75 million of which was in punitive damages, and an additional $50,000 from Acker.  

Shortly after the accident Acker underwent a drug test. The drug test showed that Acker had significant amounts of marijuana and methamphetamines in his system while driving the  truck. This wasn’t the only thing found on Acker’s record… he also had 3 moving violations within a matter of 3 months of his hiring date. In addition, Acker was also on company probation for being involved in 3 other wrecks while working for the company!  

As if that wasn’t enough, KLTV 7 states that Acker reportedly initialed documents falsifying that he had undergone new-driver, defensive driver, and defensive driver drug and alcohol training, as well as completed an official drug test.  

What are your thoughts on the amount of this award? Do you think the amount awarded was too large? This award way surpasses the amount taken on by Werner of $10 million earlier this year. Do you believe this will set a new standard within the trucking industry as far as accidents are concerned? 

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