07 Oct Lessons from a Verdict, Check Your Tires, Cardinals Party Box
Welcome to the Newsletter
Rana Law Group Newsletter
In this issue:
- Lessons from a $1B Verdict
- Check Your Tires
- Cardinals Party Box for Top Referrers
Lessons from a Billion Dollar Verdict
I recently read about a case where a jury came back with a billion dollar verdict (mostly as punitive damages which are punishment for bad behavior) against a trucking company where the driver caused his semitruck to overturn as a result of distracted driving from being on his cell phone, working over his hours of service limit and not having a commercial driver’s license. The crash caused the death of a teenager who was struck by another semitruck while in the traffic jam created by the overturned truck. While that may seem excessive to some, I typically urge people to remember the purpose of a jury. Their job under the 7th Amendment of the US Constitution is to sit as appraisers of the harm done to an injured person and determine what was taken. Additionally, they decide if punitive damages are warranted, which serve to punish bad actors as well as deter similar people/corporations from committing the same bad acts.
What lessons can we take away from a verdict of this magnitude? First, juries work. Contrary to popular opinion, runaway juries are rare. What typically happens is juries serve as gatekeepers to ensure cases have merit and the injured person deserves money. Here, the jury was irate because of the trucking company’s conduct. They put an unqualified driver on the road who in turn chose to use his phone while driving, causing him to create a pileup which lead to the loss of a life. This was preventable and the jury wanted others to learn from this so another innocent life did not get altered by these types of acts. Second, people are worried these types of verdicts put companies out of business, however, we can all agree bad businesses that refuse to follow the rules do not deserve to be in business anyway. Here, a jury heard what happened and wanted to send a message – businesses like this need to be put out of business and should not be sharing the road with our loved ones. Lastly, good truck drivers and good truck companies want the bad actors out of business too. Like any industry, there are bad actors and the good ones are just as mad at the bad ones as the rest of us. The good ones want improved, safe drivers because, at the end of the day, they just want to do their job and deliver their goods. These verdicts protect all of us from harm on our roads.
Check Your Tires
This is just a ‘PSA’ reminder to check your tires before winter. I know several people who got flat tires in the past few months including my wife. In speaking with a dealership regarding our flat tire, it turns out we are not alone. They have seen a rash of tire replacements due to dry rot setting in while vehicles sat idle for long periods during the pandemic. Tires are engineered for frequent use and the resins that protect the rubber only work when the tire is in motion. An obvious sign of this is tire walls that look like cracked leather or elephant skin. The dealership also said leaking valves have been a problem lately which causes the tires to need to be inflated every few weeks. Unfortunately, these tires are now compromised and could cause a dangerous situation if they result in a blow-out while driving, especially at highway speeds. According to the most recent data from the Department of Transportation, there were 612 fatalities from tire related crashes in 2019. If your tires are between three and five years old, no matter the mileage, they may need to be replaced. At the very least, have them inspected by a mechanic to ensure you are safe.
Cardinals Party Box for Top Referrers
This past Friday, the employees of Rana Law Group hosted our first ever Cardinals party box for some of our top referrers. We could not have asked for a more perfect evening. Everyone had a great time which was capped off by a walk-off Cardinals win against the Cubbies. Good food, drinks and company. While the Cardinals’ season is done for the year (what a heartbreaker last night!), we look forward to hosting more of these events to thank those who help our firm grow.