A decorated police officer was driving home after his shift from Coalinga to Hanford.
As he travelled along the rural Fresno County roadways towards his home, unbeknownst to him, another driver, an employee of A&A Transport Company, while in the course and scope of his employment, had stopped his truck and welders’ trailer in the middle of the roadway. The truck driver, who had received no training or instructions on how to hook up the trailer, had been supplied the wrong ball size for the trailer hitch. Not only that, but the electrical connectors which would have provided lighting to the trailer had been severed and were inoperable. After the trailer came unhitched, instead of limping the trailer to the shoulder of the roadway using his connector chains, the driver left the trailer, without lights, on the dark, rural roadway. The client approached the trailer at 55 miles per hour, realized only too late that the truck and trailer were stopped directly in his path. He slammed on his brakes just as his vehicle collided into the trailer, causing massive damage to his own vehicle. The client suffered major injuries, some life threatening, including a right tibial fracture, metatarsal fracture of left foot, persistent posttraumatic headaches, mandibular joint arthritis, myofascial pain and cervical muscle strain, lumbar back strain with pain and gait dysfunction, chronic pain syndrome, bilateral calf muscle pain, right hip pain, a plate his knee, a hip bulge, and residual arthritis in knee, foot, ankle, and left elbow. These injuries required surgical procedures in the form of a diagnostic laparoscopy, open reduction internal fixation of the right bicondylar plateau fracture along with manipulation under anesthesia and closed treatment of the left big toe fracture. The client spent a total of three weeks in two different hospitals. For the next year and a half he underwent a rigorous course of physical therapy, pain management and rehabilitation care. After contesting their liability for their negligence, A&A Transport, which had subsequently gone out of business, finally acquiesced and settled the matter for ($875,000) to avoid going to trial.