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Illinois Personal Injury & Criminal Defense / Blog / Truck Accident / Freight Broker Not Liable for $18M Truck Accident Verdict

Freight Broker Not Liable for $18M Truck Accident Verdict


An Illinois appellate court removed a freight broker as a defendant from a lawsuit involving a traumatic brain injury suffered by a teenager. Initially, the trial court had certified the freight broker as a defendant in the lawsuit that was filed against a truck driver, trucking company, and the freight broker. The appellate court argued that the freight broker did not exercise sufficient control over the trucking company to contribute any negligence to the matter. In other words, the court ruled that the freight broker did not have an “agency relationship” with the trucking company and the driver who caused the accident.

In this case, the plaintiff was 17 when the accident occurred. He was fixing his vehicle along the side of the road on Route 394, south of Chicago. The teen was attempting to fix faulty lights on a landscaping trailer when he was struck by a commercial truck driven by the defendants. He was struck from behind and catapulted 30 feet into the air sustaining brain trauma and injury. The ensuing accident put him in a coma for two weeks.

The victim filed a lawsuit against the trucking company, the driver and the freight broker. Good news for the plaintiff is that the trucking company is still liable for the accident as the driver exited the road when he struck the plaintiff. The freight broker had filed a motion to be dismissed from the lawsuit but the trial court denied their motion. On appeal, they were able to get a court to agree that they did not exert enough control over the logistics company to warrant being named a defendant in the lawsuit.

Elements of negligence 

In this case, the driver of the commercial truck was faulted for exiting the road and striking the plaintiff while he was attempting to fix the trailer lights on a landscaping trailer. Since the driver exited the road, an Illinois jury found that the driver was negligent for the boy’s injuries and levied an $18 million verdict against the defendants. In some cases, freight brokers have been found liable alongside trucking companies and their drivers in certain lawsuits alleging truck accident injuries. The court did not intend for this appeal to impact all freight broker lawsuits, but did come to the conclusion that this particular freight broker did not exercise enough control over the driver or his company to warrant being named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Truck accident lawsuits in Decatur, Illinois 

If you are injured by a large commercial truck in an accident, you can establish that the trucking company was negligent when they violated a rule of traffic or otherwise operated their vehicle in a manner that was dangerous to others.

The Decatur, IL truck accident lawyers at Patel Law, PC have helped hundreds of local truck accident victims recover damages from negligent trucking companies. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you recover damages related to your lost wages, medical expenses, and reduced quality of life.



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