Driver struck by 18-wheeler on highway sues for damages

Carol Ostrow May 14, 2015, 8:44am


An Orange County resident brought a lawsuit against a company and its employee for damages sustained in 2014.

Brooke Smith filed against Bennett Truck Transport LLC of Lubbock and Mark Owen Howard of Katy in Jefferson County District Court on May 8, claiming injuries in a December 2014 incident.

The plaintiff was driving directly in front of the defendant Howard, who was operating an 18-wheeler on Eastex Freeway at the point where it merged with I-10 on or about Dec. 12, 2014. When traffic congestion caused Smith to brake on I-10, Howard allegedly crashed into the plaintiff’s car, pushing it into the vehicle in front of hers.

The suit states that an investigation by the Beaumont Police Department concluded that Howard had failed to control his speed. Smith incurred neck, back, shoulder and limb injuries, requiring extensive medical treatment, according to the filing.

Alleging that Bennett Truck Transport is vicariously liable for Smith’s injuries, specifically citing negligent training and supervision of Howard, the complaint also argues that Howard breached his duty as a commercial driver.

Smith seeks to recover damages for past and future medical bills, pain, suffering and anguish, disability and lost enjoyment of life, lost earning capacity, impairment and disfigurement. The plaintiff seeks between $200,000 and $1 million in damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, expenses and costs.

She is represented by Malachi Daws of the Daws Law Firm in Beaumont.

Jefferson County District Court Case B-197088

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