Monday, December 8, 2014

Killed by a petroleum truck when the dual wheel assembly broke

Plaintiffs were successful in settling a general negligence claim against Defendant petroleum transportation company on behalf of the Estate of Plaintiff for $1,500,000. On October 22, 2010, Defendant's petroleum tanker was travelling southbound on the Southfield freeway approaching Outer Drive when a dual wheel assembly broke off the axle, traveled down the freeway, bounced over the median fatally striking Plaintiff roof. During discovery, it was learned that all four axles on the petroleum tanker had been butt welded at the spindles. Butt welding is a process where a flat surface is welded to a flat surface significantly reducing the integrity of the axle. The point at which these axles were welded, the spindle, is the area where the axle holds the most weight. There was no question that the axles were welded inappropriately. Even Defendant’s own expert agreed on that matter. The defense was that the owner of the petroleum trucks did not know that the axles were welded. Plaintiff claimed this to be a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations where it specifically states that the motor carrier had a duty to insure the safety of the trailer by inspecting, repairing and maintaining or causing to systematically inspect, repair and maintain all the parts including the axles. FMCSR §3.96.3. The case settled approximately one week before trial. Submitted by: Plaintiff’s attorneys David W. Christensen and Mary Pat Rosen; 5510 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202; telephone 313-875-8080; facsimile 313-875-9857; E-mail:

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