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IdleAire faces wrongful death lawsuit

By Clarissa Kell-Holland
staff writer

 

After stopping at a truck stop in Knoxville, TN, for the night, OOIDA members Bill and Nancy Younger, husband and wife team drivers from Kathleen, FL, decided to hook up to an IdleAire HVAC delivery system on July 12, 2007.

A year later, Nancy finds herself in a legal battle against IdleAire Technologies over an alleged carbon monoxide catastrophe that happened that night. Nancy is now a widow, and unable to drive for a living. For herself and on behalf of her late husband, she is suing IdleAire for $18 million, an amount that includes $10 million for permanent and debilitating injuries she claims to have suffered and $8 million for the fatal injuries the lawsuit claims Bill sustained as a result of IdleAire’s “defective product.”

According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against IdleAire Technologies Corp. on April 29 in Knox County Circuit Court, sometime during that night in July 2007 the Youngers were overcome by carbon monoxide gases that were “sucked in through the (malfunctioning IdleAire) HVAC system into the cab of their truck from the diesel emissions of nearby idling trucks parked in their vicinity at the truck stop.”

The lawsuit alleges both of the Youngers “sustained severe and permanent injuries, including permanent brain damage.” The lawsuit also states that the injuries Bill sustained “eventually resulted in his death.”

Bill, who had been a trucker for more than 52 years, died on Feb. 27 this year at a hospital in Lakeland, FL. The lawsuit claims his death was a result of his injuries. Nancy, who drove for more than 15 years, is unable to drive any longer.

The lawsuit does not name the Knoxville truck stop where the alleged incident took place.

IdleAire filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May and listed the potential $18 million in damages requested by Nancy as a liability. IdleAire officials could not be reached for comment on the pending case. LL

clarissa_kell-holland@landlinemag.com

Aug/Sept Digital Edition