North Dakota trucking company liable for $1 million in nonfatal crash

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 12/17/2018

A federal jury in Indiana found a North Dakota trucking company responsible for a nonfatal crash that occurred more than six years ago. The company was ordered to pay $1 million in damages.

On Dec. 4, a case that began in February 2014 came to an end when the jury determined that Robert Laducer and his employer, Red River Supply, were responsible for a crash that took place in May 2012. Richard Spinnenweber was awarded $1 million.

At around noon on May 17, 2012, Spinnenweber was driving his Dodge Caravan in the right, westbound lane of Interstate 94 in Porter County, Ind., according to the complaint. At the same time, Laducer was driving a Kenworth truck in the center, westbound lane on the same stretch of highway.

The lawsuit alleged that Laducer negligently changed lanes, causing his truck to collide with Spinnenweber’s Caravan. No other details of the crash were included in the complaint.

The lawsuit alleges that Laducer breached his “duties that were owed,” including:

  • Failing to maintain proper control of the vehicle.
  • Failing to keep a proper lookout.
  • Failing to exercise reasonable and ordinary care in the operation of the vehicle.
  • Failing to operate the vehicle at a reasonable speed.
  • Failing to keep the vehicle in the center lane of the roadway.
  • Changing from one traffic lane to another when the movement could not be made with reasonable safety.
  • Failing to use a hand or turn signal to indicate a lane change.
  • Failing to yield the center-of-way.

“There was no excuse or justification in Robert Laducer’s violation of the statutes or ordinances,” the lawsuit claims.

As a result of the crash, Spinnenweber sustained physical and emotional injuries, incurred medical expenses, and “may have lost earnings, profits or income.”

After deliberating for less than an hour, a jury agreed with Spinnenweber’s assessment and awarded him $1 million in damages.

Red River Supply could not immediately be reached for comment.

 

 

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