$3.97M Settlement Reached in Death of N.Y. Trucker Killed in Crash

The family of an Albany, N.Y., truck driver who died in January 2011 when his tractor-trailer rig smashed into the rear of another tractor-trailer that had crashed in front of him on a snowy highway has reached a $3.97 million settlement with the defendants in the case.

The settlement in the wrongful death case was reached on May 13 in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, according to a June 16 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

The driver who was killed, Mark Kowalski, was driving a 2011 Freightliner with a double trailer east on Interstate 80 in South Centre Township in Lackawanna County, Pa., when a 2002 Peterbilt truck and its trailer being driven ahead of him by Patrick L. Webb, 41, of Marshall, Texas, went out of control on the snow-covered highway, according to a Jan. 21, 2011 story from The (Sunbury, Pa.) Daily Item newspaper.

Allison Kowalski, the widow of truck driver Mark Kowalski, sued Webb, his employer, PBM Logistics LLC and Republic National Industries, which leased the truck to PBM, The Legal Intelligencer story reported. The settlement was reached just before the case was set to go to trial.

As Mark Kowalski drove his truck behind Webb’s truck, the trailer of Webb’s crashed vehicle blocked the left and right lanes of the highway, according to the complaint. “On or about the same time and place, Mark Kowalski, who was traveling behind the vehicle driven by Patrick L. Webb in the right lane of traffic, through no negligence of his own, could not avoid the trailer of the tractor-trailer rig driven by defendant Webb, which was blocking the lanes of traffic,” the complaint said.

Kowalski’s truck cab was ripped from the tractor by the impact of the crash and the truck cab rolled into the guide rail, broke through the rail and came to rest off the shoulder of the road, according to The Legal Intelligencer story. Kowalski was trapped in the wreckage for about 45 minutes and died soon after rescue workers were able to remove him from the vehicle, the story continued.

After an investigation into the crash, Webb was ticketed by police for driving too fast, careless driving, false report and driver’s record of duty status, driving more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period and driving more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period, according to The Legal Intelligencer.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

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