In what may be the first legal verdict to come out of the horrific Highway 40 tractor-trailer accident in 2008, a judge has awarded $18 million to a couple affected by the crash. According to an Aug. 25 article by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mark and Cheryl Tiburzi sued truck driver Jeffrey Knight and his former trucking company, Holmes Transport Inc., for causing the accident that left Mark Tiburzi severely brain-damaged and unable to walk, talk or care for himself. He lives full-time in a nursing home. At least two other lawsuits related to the crash, as well as a criminal case against Knight, are pending.
In the July 2008 crash, Knight’s semi truck plowed into a line of stopped cars on Highway 40 near Interstate 270, killing three people: Lydia Miller of Canton, Mo; Alvin Mast of Kahoka, Mo.; and Charles “Keith” Cason of Caseyville, Mo. The crash also injured 14 people, including Mark Tiburzi. Officials say Knight was distracted by his cell phone when he failed to stop for the traffic. The judge in the Tiburzis’ case ruled that it was more likely than not that Knight was negligent — a legal term for extremely careless. Of the verdict, $13.8 million will go to Mark Tiburzi, a former sales manager for Famous Footwear, and $4.2 million will go to Cheryl Tiburzi of St. Peters.
That might seem like a lot of money to people who are not familiar with the cost of dealing with a severe brain injury. Unfortunately, as a St. Louis big rig accident lawyer, I can tell you that lifetime head injury treatment costs can easily reach into tens of millions. The initial hospital visit alone can be expensive — but after a brain injury patient is stabilized, he or she will probably need years of therapy to help regain speech, movement or life skills lost to the injury. In severe cases like Mark Tiburzi’s, patients may need daily care for the rest of their lives. That means this money is likely to be earmarked for Mark Tiburzi’s past and future care. It may also include compensation for Cheryl Tiburzi’s loss — although I don’t doubt that she would trade it all back if it could make her husband healthy again.
At the Lowe Law Firm, we represent people like the Tiburzis who were seriously hurt by the carelessness of truck drivers and trucking companies. In many trucking accidents, victims in other vehicles are left dead or with permanent injuries, including paralysis and severe burns as well as head injuries. Our southern Illinois trucking accident attorneys help victims with these catastrophic injuries, and their loved ones, hold the wrongdoers legally responsible for their actions, recovering the money they need to pay past and future medical bills, funeral costs and other financial costs, as well as compensation for their devastating injuries.
If you or someone in your family was severely injured by bad or illegal decisions by a truck driver, you should talk to our experienced Missouri 18-wheeler accident lawyers as soon as possible. We offer free, confidential consultations to all potential clients. To set one up, please contact us through the Internet or call 1-877-678-3400, toll-free.