Massive $70 million payout awarded to family after big rig crash

"This was a crash that was 100 percent preventable because the truck driver should never have been on the road in the first place because he was driving on a suspended driver’s license,” said the legal team representing the family.

$70 Million

A California family was awarded a record-breaking multi-million dollar payout following a 2017 crash involving a semi truck.

On December 19, Rodriguez & Associates, the legal team representing Tomasa Cuevas, announced that they won a $70,578,289 verdict on behalf of the family in connection with a semi truck crash that occurred more than two years ago. The law firm said that the payout was the “highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history.”

The verdict was awarded in connection with a crash that happened in August 2017 near Bakersfield, California, when a semi truck driven by Amarjit Aulakh collided with an SUV driven by Tomasa Cuevas in an intersection.

Tomasa Cuevas and her son Alex Cuevas both suffered skull fractures and brain injuries in the crash. Daughter Maritza Cuevas suffered only scratches but has reportedly been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

According to Bakersfield.com, Aulakh told the California Highway Patrol (CHP) that Cuevas had run a red light. The subsequent CHP investigation was reportedly unable to determine who ran the red light and caused the crash based on surveillance video. However, investigators with Rodriguez & Associates obtained dash cam video from a bus that they say determined that it was Aulakh who ran the red light.

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Rodriguez & Associates investigators also reported that Aulakh’s license was suspended and that he had been in more than a dozen crashes prior to the August 2017 crash.

“This was a crash that was 100 percent preventable because the truck driver should never have been on the road in the first place because he was driving on a suspended driver’s license,” Rodriguez & Associates said in a news release.