A married 43 year-old male with three young children, worked as a truck driver of a meat-packing company. Driving south on the New Jersey Turnpike, he experienced mechanical trouble and pulled over to the side of the road. After giving the truck a temporary repair, he started to move his vehicle forward intending to ease it into one of the moving lanes. Within seconds, a bus going at a high rate of speed struck the left side of the truck with such an impact as to propel it forcefully into a large tree. The driver of the truck struck his head on a solid object, and died at the scene.
The defense attempted to place the entire blame upon the decedent (the truck driver), claiming he moved out into the path of the bus. Retained shortly after the fatal accident, we dispatched accident engineers to the scene who, based upon forensic evidence (tire marks, skid marks, vehicle damage, damage to the tree, distance from point of impact from the tree, etc.) concluded that the bus was traveling at an excessive speed, and negligently overtook the truck causing the fatal accident.
Our summation which dealt in part with, “What is a father?”, was re-printed in legal publications for members of the trial Bar for their use as a learning guide in the pursuit of continuing legal education.