Man awarded $13 million in truck firm suit

| 10/18/2002

A man who suffered brain damage after a loose tire flew across a Southern California freeway and struck his pickup truck will receive $13 million under a settlement with a trucking company, according to a published report. The nearly 200-pound tire allegedly had been fastened insecurely to the truck.

The deal reached Oct. 16 calls for Allied Systems Ltd. and a tire servicing firm to pay Philip Dohrman of Huntington Beach, CA, about $13 million. Dohrman is legally blind, unable to drive and unemployed because of his disabilities.

The accident occurred Jan. 9, 2001, when the wheel of a car hauler spun off its axle, sailed into oncoming traffic and crushed the cab of Dohrman's pickup. The collision occurred on the Santa Anna Freeway in Irvine.

Dohrman's lawyers claim Allied's driver was never trained to make frequent checks of the vehicle's wheels and nuts. His attorneys said that service records showed the vehicle had not undergone maintenance for 180 days.

An Allied Systems attorney said a contractor working for Allied had over-tightened the lug nuts, cracking and weakening them. Allied and the tire service firm reportedly will pay the settlement in installments.