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$100M liability judgment against Werner upheld despite appeal 

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An appeals court in Texas upheld a $100 million judgment against Werner for a 2014 crash that killed one child and paralyzed another. 

The crash happened during a winter storm on December 30th on Interstate 20 in Texas. A jury found Werner and the truck driver liable for the incident in 2018, awarding the victims more than $100 million in damages. The ruling was upheld on Thursday, May 18th in a Texas appeals court. 

The car involved in the incident was driving along I-20 during the winter storm when it lost control, crossed a 42-foot-wide grassy median, and collided with a Werner semi truck. Werner was found to be 70% responsible for injuries sustained in the crash, the motorist was found 16% responsible, and the truck driver was found to be 14% responsible. 

In the appeal opinion, it was noted that the crash occurred on black ice during a winter storm warning. The truck driver was traveling at about 50 mph when the motorist lost control. The appeals court pointed out testimony suggesting that the truck driver should have been traveling around 15 mph at the time of the wreck and should have even gotten off of the highway. 

Lawyer’s for the victims family also argue that Werner’s safety systems and policies in place at the time were inadequate for the situation. The truck driver had been out of trucking school for only seven days at the time of the wreck, and was not allowed to use a CB radio as per Werner policy.  

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