A federal judge refused a new trial for a Nevada trucking company that was ordered to pay $4.5 million in damages to Amtrak after a truck slammed into a passenger train in 2011, killing six people.
The verdict was returned by jury in September 2014 against John Davis Trucking. The jurors had concluded the truck driver, who was also killed in the crash, was to blame for the fiery crash on the California Zephyr.
Lawyers for the trucking company argued in a motion for rehearing that the judge should have instructed the jury to consider evidence suggesting a faulty signal and crossing gate could have also contributed to the deadly crash.
Judge Howard McKibben ruled that the verdict was a reasonable one stating the trucking company “received a fair trial.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded in December 2012 that the probable cause of the accident was an inattentive trucker with a history of speeding violations driving an empty tractor-trailer with faulty brakes. More information about the crash as well as the verdict can be found here.
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.