A court has ordered
KLLM Transport Services Inc. to pay $6.8 million to the mother
of Lindsey Garretson, a teen-ager who died after her car was hit by
a truck whose driver was working for Vernon Sawyer Transportation,
a KLLM subsidiary.
The Federal District
Court award was the result of a verdict reached Dec. 20 in the courtroom
of Judge Robert Echols. The jury found that KLLM ignored its own standards
when it hired Stuart Foy, the truckdriver accused of causing the August
Rose Walker, L.L.P.,
the law firm working for Garretson's mother, said in a statement that
Foy had eight preventable accidents and six moving violations in the
three years before he was hired at Vernon Sawyer and two additional
minor accidents and another four tickets in the months before the
The law firm contended
that under the firm's policies, Foy's previous driving record should
have prevented him from being hired by a KLLM company, and his record
after he was hired should have led to his being fired.
had hiring standards that were designed to screen out reckless truckdrivers,"
Marty Rose, principal at Rose Walker, said in a statement. "When
they hired Foy, they ignored those standards and knowingly put the
traveling public in danger."
at Vernon Sawyer referred all calls on the suit to KLLM. A spokesman
for KLLM was not available for comment.