Tractor trailer crash $800,000 settlement month before trial
A 40 year old man who nearly lost his arm in a cross-over crash with a tractor trailer settled his lawsuit against the 18 wheeler’s owner. The parties reached the $800,000 settlement a month before trial. Michael Smith of Southwest City, a town approximately one hour south of Joplin, Missouri, was driving a narrow two-lane Highway 43 near the Missouri-Arkansas border when his Ford Escort was side swiped by a Mack tractor trailer operated by Simmons Foods, Inc. Roads like Higway 43 can be found all across the mid-Missouri areas in Boone County near Columbia, Missouri. The Highway Patrol found that the Escort had been struck by the dual wheels of the big rig as the two vehicles met each other on a curve, with the trailer believed to be slightly left of the center line at the point of impact. It was also noted that there were several sets of skid marks present from the other vehicles that had previously traveled the area. The trailer entered the Escorts compartment and sliced through Smith’s left shoulder. The injury required him to undergo extensive surgery and rehabilitation. Smith was able to eventually return to work, but suffered permanent limitations to his range of motion. The defense litigated the case arguing that there was not concrete evidence that the trailer had been left of center and that Smith’s vehicle was actually at fault.