Jury finds trucking company and driver negligent in a vehicular accident.
DETROIT – McKeen & Associates attorneys Brian McKeen and Todd Schroeder, along with New York attorneys Judith Livingston and Thomas Moore, won a jury verdict in Wayne County Circuit Court in April for $96 million on behalf of the family of two men killed in a trucking accident.
The jury found Canada-based Challenger Motor Freight, Inc. and its driver, Jose Angel Nogueras, negligent in the death of a father and son, Jude and Zachary Attianese of New Jersey.
Jude and Zachary Attianese were driving to attend a funeral in metro Detroit in June 2018. They were traveling on I-75 in Wayne County when traffic slowed due to construction and were going approximately five miles per mile. A semi-tractor trailer, traveling at speeds inappropriate for the construction zone, rear-ended the pair. Both Jude and Zachary died from the injuries of the accident.
The plaintiff in the case is the wife of Jude, and the mother of Zachary, Natalie Attianese. Jude Attianese was a small business owner, and Zachary was a college student with a promising baseball career: one of the highest-ranked left-handed pitching prospects in the country. At the time of his death, he had signed a letter of intent with Florida State University to attend and play baseball and had received interest from Major League baseball teams.
It was found that Challenger Motor Freight had been informed in 2015, that the driver suffered from Parkinson’s disease and had failed to perform company assessments that would have discovered that he was incompetent to drive. It was also revealed that the driver was on medications that rendered him unsafe driving and was not compliant with his medical treatment.
“Companies that hire people to operate heavy machinery, especially vehicles which will be on public roads, have an obligation to ensure their employees are competent and safe to do so,” said McKeen, founder and managing partner of McKeen & Associates. “That this trucking company failed in that respect resulted in the deaths of two upstanding citizens who were beloved by their family and friends.
“We cannot bring back Natalie’s husband and son, her daughters’ father and brother, we can only hope to alleviate some of their financial burdens and maybe provide some vindication that justice has been served. This case should never have happened, and it is our hope that other companies take heed and ensure they follow due diligence in their employment and assessment practices.”
McKeen & Associates, P.C. is a leader in representing individuals injured by the negligence of others, particularly in or by hospitals and physicians. In addition, McKeen & Associates, P.C. has successfully represented clients injured in a variety of other circumstances. Based in Detroit, McKeen & Associates represents clients in both federal and state courts brought throughout Michigan and the United States. For more information, visit www.mckeenassociates.com.