Trucking company sued following violent tractor-trailer collision

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 22, 2011, 6:52am

MARSHALL - A trucking company is being sued after one of its employees allegedly caused a violent collision that left a young mother with debilitating injuries.

Patricia Cross, as next friend of Kayla M. Rhodes, filed suit against Swift Transportation Co., Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, Swift Transportation Services, Swift Leasing Co. Inc., Swift Leasing Co. LLC and Martin S. Jackson on Aug. 15 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

According to the original complaint, Rhodes was a 21-year-old working mother of two daughters at the time of the accident.

On Aug. 17, 2009, Rhodes was driving a 2003 Saturn eastbound into the intersection of State Highways 77 and 59 in Atlanta, when defendant Jackson drove his tractor trailer into the side of Rhodes' vehicle. Rhodes' vehicle was forced several hundred feet down Highway 59 until both vehicles came to a rest. She suffered serious and debilitating injuries.

Defendant Jackson, acting within his course and scope of his duties for Swift Transportation, is accused of driver inattention, failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to control the speed of his tractor trailer, utilizing faulty evasive action, failing to take appropriate evasive action to avoid a collision, failing to apply the brakes on his vehicle in a timely and responsible manner, failing to maintain control of his vehicle, failing to turn his vehicle to avoid a collision and operating his vehicle recklessly and incompetently.

The defendants are accused of negligence, negligence per se, negligent hiring, retention, training, supervision and entrustment.

The plaintiff is seeking actual, incidental, consequential and special damages, including damages for mental anguish, medical expenses, physical and mental pain, physical disfigurement and impairment, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, interest and court costs.

Cross is represented by Curtis L. Marsh and Gary D. Sarles of Sarles & Ouimet in Dallas. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00359

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