$165.5M Verdict Upheld Against FedEx in Crash Deaths of Mother, Child
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on July 24th, 2015
A district court judge in New Mexico has upheld a $165.5 million jury verdict that was awarded in January to the survivors of a 2011 crash that killed a 22-year-old mother and her 4-year-old daughter when a FedEx tractor-trailer smashed into their vehicle.
The crash, which occurred on June 22, 2011 on Interstate 10 near Las Cruces, N.M., killed Marialy Venegas Morga, who was driving her GMC pickup on the highway, as well as her daughter, Ylairam Morga, according to a July 22 story in The Albuquerque Journal. Morga’s one-year-old son survived the collision.
In the latest legal action, FedEx had asked the court for a reduction in the jury’s award or for a retrial, but those requests were rejected by Judge Francis Mathew, the story reported.
In the original trial, FedEx had been found 95 percent responsible in the crash, which occurred about 1:30 a.m. as Morga, of El Paso, Texas, drove the pickup at a slow speed with its emergency flashers on at or near the edge of the highway, according to a July 23 story by The Las Cruces Sun-News. The driver of the contracted FedEx truck, Elizabeth Quintana, was also killed in the crash.
The deceased woman, Marialy Venegas Morga, was found by the jury to be five percent responsible for the crash, so FedEx, its driver and contractors were ordered to pay the bulk of the jury’s award – or about $157,256,350 of the $165.5 million verdict, the Sun-News reported. FedEx had stipulated earlier in the proceedings that it would pay all defense damages if it were held liable in the case, the story stated.
FedEx, which can still appeal the latest court decision, was ordered in April by the judge to also pay a 5 percent per-year, pre-trial interest rate on the $157,256,350 award, bringing the latest damage total to about $178 million, the story reported. Also assessed by the judge was a post-trial interest of 15 percent a year until the case is resolved.
A FedEx spokesman said that the company extends its sympathies to the victims and their family but that it will again appeal the latest court decision before the state Court of Appeals, the story reported.
The family sued FedEx after the crash, alleging that the company had contracted out its services to a driver who “had emotional problems and was on medication for sleeping problems,” according to the story.
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) 352-4572 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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