A $1 billion verdict was reached by a Florida jury this week in a case against the trucking companies responsible for the death of a college freshman.
The accident in question happened on Labor Day weekend in 2017 on Interstate 95 near Jacksonville, Florida. In that accident, college freshman Connor Dzion was driving south on I-95 when he stopped in traffic caused by a semi truck accident up ahead. That accident involved a truck driver for AJD Business Services Inc. who was distracted by his phone, was driving over the legal limit of hours, and did not have a commercial driver’s license at the time of the crash.
Over an hour later, Dzion was still sitting in the traffic caused by the first truck crash when another distracted trucker, this time driving for Kahkashan Carrier, Inc. of Canada, slammed into the line of traffic at 70 mph, killing Dzion. Investigations revealed that the trucker was on cruise control at the time of the incident and did not even tap the brakes until one second before the fatal crash, reported First Coast News.
Further investigation of the chain of events revealed that AJD ignored many of the laws regarding hiring safe truck drivers and did no investigation into the driver’s fitness for employment before putting him behind the wheel.
After five days of testimony, a $100 million verdict was handed to Dzion’s parents for their pain and suffering over the loss of their son – this involves both trucking companies. The Jury also handed over a $900 million verdict for punitive damages against AJD Business Services Inc. for the negligent employment of a dangerous driver.