Posted by Gary Burger on November 2, 2016
Personal Injury Lawyer, Gary Burger and Burger Law represented a family of a man killed in a wreck with a tractor trailer in a wrongful death case. In the early morning hours of June 15, 2013, our client was leaving a casino and went through an intersection on a green light. A tractor trailer proceeded southbound on South Broadway in St. Louis, Missouri violated a red traffic signal and crashed into our client’s truck. It was a disastrous impact with both vehicles traveling in different directions. The tractor trailer took out some light poles and its cargo was spilt all over the road. The trucking accident impact not only caused a lot of property damage to the neighbor but also destroyed both vehicles.
We filed suit and proceeded with litigation on behalf of the family. We also conducted a quick and extensive investigation to identify some amazing liability evidence and to secure the evidence at the scene. We had an investigator at the location of the crash quickly. We were able to show through the timing of the lights that the tractor trailer went through the red light. We interviewed witnesses who also so advised. We obtained the autopsy and toxicology reports.
We were also able to show because of the skid marks of the tractor trailer that it not only ran the red light that it was over the center line and was on the wrong side of the road at the time of the impact. We were able to show from witness accounts that the tractor trailer was speeding at the time of the accident. These we all difficult things to show as our client died in this crash and the witnesses were limited for this early morning incident.
We were also able to keep the venue in the City of St. Louis. The truck accident case was originally filed in the City of St. Louis. The Defendant sought to remove the case to Federal Court. However, we opened an Estate for the deceased truck driver. Did you know that you can file a suit as a creditor against an Estate? We did so. Residency is different between an individual and an Estate. A deceased individual does not have a residence, but his Estate is a residence of the State of Missouri. This destroyed diversity jurisdiction and enabled us to keep the case in State Court.
We also conducted extensive litigation and matters regarding the probate estate. As part of our fee we handle all the probate matters in the case. This involved probate filing to ensure that our client’s son was his heir (he had not be declared having paternity prior to his death) to open the probate estate for his assets and to establish conservatorship and guardianship on behalf of the child by his grandparents.
We put together strong exhibits for our mediation to prove to the trucking company and its insurer their driver’s gross negligence. We were aggressive in the mediation in this case and refused to settle. Later, when the defendant obtained additional authority from its Board of Directors, we settled the claim for $5 Million.
We were able to put a very large amount of money in a trust fund and structured settlement for the young child of the deceased. We continue to maintain and work with the Court and the Conservatorship proceedings to make sure that money is secured for him. In addition, we are proud to co-counsel with another St. Louis area lawyer who referred us this case. We are happy to get such a great result in the case and share such a robust referral fee to him for his assistance in the case.
To learn more about this case, click here.