Fiery tractor-trailer crash leads to personal injury lawsuit

Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 2, 2012, 4:45pm


MARSHALL - After crashing into a jackknifed tractor-trailer, a driver for Southern Refrigerated Transport has filed a lawsuit claiming that the wreck was a result of the truck driver traveling too fast and too close to other automobiles.

Cathy Guignet filed suit against Daryl L. Weaver and East Clay Carriers on March 29 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

Guignet claims she suffered serious injuries on Oct. 1, 2010, in Sevier County, Ark.

According to the lawsuit, Guignet was operating a tractor truck traveling northbound on US Highway 71N when the crash occurred. Defendant Weaver was operating a tractor-trailer towing a flatbed trailer loaded with three automobiles and was traveling southbound on US Highway 71N. Weaver approached a slower moving pickup truck which was pulling a trailer.

Guignet alleges Weaver was traveling too fast and locked his brakes in an attempt to avoid hitting the smaller pickup truck. Weaver's tractor truck skidded approximately 200 feet before his trailer jackknifed.

The suit states the tractor-trailer entered Weaver's lane of travel and she was unable to avoid colliding with it. As a result of the wreck, a fire erupted that destroyed both tractor-trailers and their respective cargo.

Defendant Weaver was cited for failure to control his speed and for following too close, according to the suit.

Weaver is accused of negligence for failing to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles using the roadway, for failing to control the speed of the tractor-trailer and for driving at an unreasonable speed, failing to operate his tractor trailer in a single lane, failing to reduce his speed, and for failing to timely apply his brakes.

Guignet argues that Weaver's employer, East Clay Carriers, is liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

East Clay Carriers is also accused of negligent hiring and retention, negligent supervision and training and negligent entrustment.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, physical disability and impairment, lost wages, punitive damages, interest and court costs.

Guignet is represented by Kimberly A. Stovall of Stovall & Associates P.C. in Dallas. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstap is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-00167

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