A California jury awarded a truck driver more than $9 million in a personal injury lawsuit he filed after he was run over by his co-driver during an altercation with an employee on private property.
On Tuesday, a jury in Fresno, California sided with 27 year old Pennsylvania-based truck driver Daquan Jones, finding that property owner Hiller Aircraft Corporation and the city of Firebaugh were responsible for creating a dangerous condition on the property.
Jones was awarded a $9.3 million settlement, according to reporting from The Fresno Bee.
Jones filed suit following an incident that occurred on July 2, 2018 in Firebaugh, California.
According to the lawsuit, Jones and a co-driver had recently picked up a load of tomatoes and took a wrong turn onto M Street in Firebaugh, which reportedly had no signage indicating that it was a dead end road with no outlet. The suit also alleges the the street had been abandoned by the city decades earlier.
Jones drove down M Street to an open gate on property that belonged to Hiller Aircraft Corporation. Jones says that he asked a Hiller Aircraft employee for permission to turn around on the property, which was granted. He says that as he attempted to leave the property, the gate was shut by employees and a manager told him that he was not allowed to leave without paying $50.
“Daquan Jones and his co-driver exited the vehicle and the premises (manager) began an altercation because Mr. Jones declined to pay $50 to leave the premises since an employee had previously given him permission to turn around. Mr. Jones was placed in a headlock and ultimately, was thrown to the ground. The co-driver attempted to drive the truck out of the property and ran over Mr. Jones causing him serious injuries,” the lawsuit said.
Among the injuries that Jones suffered were a fractured neck, a fractured pelvis, internal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and a major injury to his left buttock, which required reconstruction and skin grafts.
Jones reportedly underwent almost 30 surgeries as a result of the incident.
Jones’ attorney Richard Watters argued that Hiller Aircraft strategically placed barricades on M Street to force lost truckers onto their property.
The jury found that the City of Firebaugh was 25% responsible for causing a dangerous condition while Hiller Aircraft was 70% responsible. The co-driver was assigned 5% responsibility.