Tool salesman blames rollover on heavy load, tire defect

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Oct. 9, 2008, 8:17am

MARSHALL � Leaving a tool trade show with a truck bed loaded with displays, sales representative Phillip Hoover was returning the company truck when he lost control of the vehicle and it overturned.

Holding his employers responsible for the accident, Hoover believes the accident was caused by an overloaded truck that caused a latent defect in the truck's tires.

Hoover filed suit against Wera Werk, Wera Tools Inc. and American Wera Inc. on Oct. 1 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

As part of his job as a sales representative for the defendants, Phillip Hoover was to attend all "Fastenal" trade shows. At the time of the accident, Hoover was returning the company vehicle from Monroe, La., to Nashville, Tenn.

According to court documents, when Hoover was in the process of changing lanes due to construction, he lost control of the Chevrolet SSR pickup truck. The truck overturned and came to rest in the median.

The plaintiff states that a full toolbox was placed in the bed of the truck. Hoover claims that the tool box was too heavy for the size of the truck and caused the "latent defect" in the tires.

Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants are responsible for determining which trade shows the plaintiff attended, the location of the trade shows, and the inventory of the tool box on the truck, which was used for trade show displays.

The plaintiff argues the defendants are negligent through failing to properly inspect and maintain the vehicle to discover the dangerous condition, failing to maintain the truck in a "reasonably safe condition", failing to warn the plaintiff of the unsafe condition of the truck, and failing to discover and repair the "dangerous condition of the vehicle within a reasonable amount of time."

Hoover is seeking damages for medical care and expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, pre- and post-judgment interest.

Tyler attorney David E. Dobbs of the law firm Dobbs and Tittle, P.C. is representing the plaintiff.

The plaintiff is demanding a trial by jury.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the litigation.

Case No: 2:08cv00375

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