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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Disabled Truck Struck by Motorist Using Cell Phone


On May 5, 2003, plaintiff Lovodges Doe, a 48-year-old deliveryman, was traveling south on the 610 loop in Houston in his box truck when his engine died, leaving him stranded him in a moving lane of traffic.  Doe called a friend with a van for help and upon his friend’s arrival, the two of them began attempting to hook the truck to the van so it could be towed.  While he was doing this, Stephanie Batarse, who was on the phone with her father, struck the truck from behind.  While his friend managed to jump out of the way, Doe was caught in-between his truck and the van.  Doe sued Stephanie Batarse for negligent operation of a motor vehicle and her father, Peter, who owned the car, for negligent entrustment.  Plaintiff counsel claimed that Batarse was negligent for talking on the phone while driving, which resulted in her being distracted.  Defense counsel contended that Doe was negligent per se for not turning on his warning lights or putting up any flares or reflective triangles to warn oncoming motorists of his presence.  Defense counsel also contended that Doe negligently maintained his truck, resulting in the breakdown and truck accident.  The defense also claimed that Doe had adequate time to find a safe place to stop his truck, which started giving him problems long before he reached 610, yet he choose to not do anything and as a result he broke down on the highway.  The defense also argued that he turned down an offer to be towed from the scene.


Plaintiff suffered numerous injuries in the crash.  Plaintiff sought damages for medical fees, future medical fees, future care, disfigurement, physical impairment, lost wages and earning capacity and pain and suffering.

RESULT: The case settled pretrial for $1,500,000.  The client recovered $797,543 after deduction of $102,457 for expenses and $600,000 for attorney’s fees.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of others, contact the Houston auto accident attorneys at The Ammons Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Rob Ammons is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, in addition to being Board Certified in Civil Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Rob Ammons’ law practice, The Ammons Law Firm, is located in Houston, Texas. The Ammons Law Firm practice is exclusively personal injury law, handling such cases as tire defects, oil rig explosions, truck accidents, plant explosions, refinery accidents, wrongful death, post-collision fires, seat belt defects, airbag defects, SUV rollovers, and workplace negligence.

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