$165 Million Awarded in FedEx Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Santa Fe Jury Orders Delivery Giant to Pay $165 Million in FedEx Wrongful Death Lawsuit after a Fatal Car Accident Involving a FedEx Tractor Trailer and a Pick-Up Truck Kills 3
A jury in Santa Fe, New Mexico has awarded the family of an El Paso, Texas woman $165 million in a FedEx wrongful death lawsuit against shipping giant. A FedEx tractor trailer crashed into the pack of the woman’s parked truck killing the woman, her daughter, and the FedEx driver.
Mariali Venegas and her 4-year-old daughter and 19-month-old son were traveling to Deming, New Mexico at 1:30 in the morning one day in 2011. According to the police report, the family had pulled to the side of the road and had their hazard lights on at the time of the FedEx crash. While the family was pulled over by the side of the road, a FedEx tractor trailer slammed into the back of Venegas’ truck at a speed of 65 miles an hour. According to the police report, the FedEx driver showed no signs of breaking or slowing to avoid the crash. Venegas, her daughter, and the truck driver were all killed in the accident. Her son survived.
The jury found FedEx responsible for the accident and awarded the family of Venegas $165 million. According to Santa Fe KRQE News, this is a record wrongful death settlement amount for New Mexico. The attorneys for Venegas’ family told KRQE News that the verdict sends a message to FedEx stating that it needs to improve driver training. “They need to be responsible for their actions,” the attorney handling the case told KRQE News.
FedEx spokesperson Jack Pfeiffer said in a statement that the company “respectfully” disagrees with the verdict. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to those affected by this tragic accident. We respectfully disagree with the jury’s verdict and are exploring our options, including appeal,” he told KRQE News. The family and their attorneys are not happy with this announcement. “The entire time, from the very beginning, [FedEx] have denied responsibility and tried to pass responsibility off on someone else.”
According to the wrongful death lawsuit, the FedEx driver may have been sleeping at the wheel. The family, the attorneys, and the jury wanted to send a strong message to FedEx to improve their safe driving practices and training for all tractor trailer drivers. The lawsuit cites fatigue and “danger zone driving” (driving between midnight and 6 AM) as major contributing factors to the accident.
The delivery giant is facing other FedEx wrongful death lawsuits stemming from An April 10, 2014 accident when a FedEx tractor trailer collided head on with a charter bus from Silverado stages killing 20 of the teens and chaperones heading for a tour Humboldt State University in Orland California.
FedEx drivers have been in a number of high-profile Fedex accidents in recent months. In December 2014, A FedEx driver lost control of a tractor trailer while driving on the highway at 2AM. An additional trailer attached to the FedEx truck came lose, triggering a crash, which caused the vehicle to roll over. In late January, another FedEx driver was involved in a tractor trailer accident when he lost control of the vehicle and swerved off the road at 3AM. Both of these accidents occurred in the “danger zone” for tractor trailer accidents.
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