Injured man accuses truck maker of building defective product

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 28, 2010, 6:56am

LUFKIN-After sustaining several personal injuries he claims were caused by defects in his diesel truck, Neil Walker filed suit against the manufacturer of his 2007 Freightliner ST.

Walker alleges that the front suspension, front suspension hub, steering, steering column, tie rod assembly and rack and pinion system are defective and caused his injuries in an incident on Aug. 31, 2009, in Tenaha, Texas.

The court documents do not provide any additional information regarding the incident.

Walker filed a product liability lawsuit against Daimler Trucks North America LLC, formerly known as Freightliner LLC, on Feb. 18 in the 123rd/ 273rd District Court of Shelby County.

The defendant removed the case on April 23 to the federal court of the Eastern District of Texas, Lufkin Division.

Causes of action filed against the defendants include strict product liability, negligence and gross negligence, breach of implied and express warranties and violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for loss or impaired earnings and earning capacity, medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, loss of ability to perform household services, loss of enjoyment of life, interests and court costs.

Walker claims the defendant is guilty of gross negligence and therefore, should be held liable for punitive and exemplary damages. Jury trial requested.

The defendant generally denies the allegations and claims the plaintiff's injuries were caused by his failure to mitigate his damages and barred because of his failure to notify Daimler of the alleged breach of warranty in a timely manner.

Daimler claims the vehicle was in compliance with mandatory industry and government safety standards, and that any alleged injuries or damages resulted from independent, intervening causes unrelated to any conduct of Daimler Trucks.

Beaumont attorneys Jennifer Job Seale and Kendall S. Cockrell of Provost Umphrey Law Firm LLP are representing the plaintiff.

Chris Pearson of Clark, Thomas & Winters in Austin is attorney-in-charge for Daimler Trucks.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

Case No 9:10cv00058

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