$5M wrongful death lawsuit filed against UPS after fatal collision

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Apr 9, 2013

MARSHALL - The family of a deceased East Texas man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against UPS that claims their father’s death was the result of being struck by a delivery truck.

Julie Kathryn Hutchings, individually and on behalf of the estate of Michael H. Hitchings, Kimberley Anne Hutchings, as next friend of two minors, and Maury Shane Hutchings, filed suit against United Parcel Service Inc. and Albert Ray Smith on April 1 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The incident occurred on Sept. 20, 2012, while Michael H. Hutchings was riding his bicycle on the shoulder of state Highway 217 and heading east. According to court records, he was struck from behind by a UPS delivery van and thrown to the ground. Hutchings died shortly after the incident.

Smith is accused of negligence for failing to maintain a proper lookout as a person of ordinary prudence would have maintained under the same or similar circumstances, failing to maintain a single lane, failing to yield the right of way, failing to take proper evasive action and for failing to apply the brakes properly and timely.

Defendant UPS is accused of negligence for failing to properly screen, supervise, train, monitor, or discipline its driver in regard to enforcement of proper safety procedures and regulations, failing to enforce and ensure compliance of established safety and operational rules and regulations, failing to properly maintain its trucks in safe operational condition, failing to maintain its trucks to the minimal standard of safety, and for failing to dismiss or adequately discipline employees who violated rules and regulations.

The lawsuit is seeking an award of more than $5 million in damages for mental anguish, loss of earning capacity, lost expenses to treat emotional trauma, loss of companionship and society, pain, suffering, and mental anguish, medical expenses, funeral expenses, interest, court costs, and exemplary damages.

The plaintiffs are represented by D. Scott Carlile and Casey Q. Carlile of The Carlile Law Firm LLP in Marshall. A jury trial is requested.

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

Case No. 2:13-cv-00246

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