Landmark Case Imposes Punitive Damages on Trucking Company in Missouri

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A Missouri Appeals Court has approved an award of punitive damages against a trucking company for violation of safety regulations.

A Missouri Appeals Court has approved an award of punitive damages against a trucking company for violation of safety regulations. According to transportation accident lawyer Anita Robb of the ROBB & ROBB LLC law firm in Kansas City, Missouri, the landmark case, which she handled both at trial and on appeal, demonstrates that trucking companies can be held liable for punitive damages when they violate safety regulations. Coon v. American Compressed Steel Co., Inc., 207 S.W. 3rd 629 (Mo. App. 2006).

Ms. Robb and her firm have extensive experience in cases involving trucking accidents and other transportation liability including catastrophic automobile, school bus accidents and aviation. According to Ms. Robb, "The Missouri standard of proof in punitive damages cases, which requires 'clear and convincing' evidence, is not an easy one to meet: in trucking accidents, however, the court found that the standard was met in our case."

The Coon case involved claims that a trucking company failed to cover or secure its loads, allowing loose scrap metal to escape onto the roadway and resulting in wrongful death. The court found that because the trucking company management was aware of the laws and industry standards requiring that loads be covered or secured, but chose not to follow them, they demonstrated complete indifference or conscious disregard for the safety of others. On this basis, the court affirmed a jury's verdict finding of one million dollars in punitive damages against the trucking company.

According to Ms. Robb, "this case proves that although the standards for proving punitive damages by a trucking company are stringent, they can be met with in the proper case with adequate evidence that the conduct in question created a high probability of injury."

About ROBB & ROBB LLC: ROBB & ROBB LLC was founded in 1984 by Anita Porte Robb and Gary C. Robb. Over the last twenty-three (23) years, the firm has handled many precedent-setting, important, high-profile and complex personal injury and wrongful death cases involving catastrophic truck and bus accidents and aviation crashes. In 2001, the National Law Journal recognized Ms. Robb as one of the top ten (10) women trial lawyers in the country. Last year, Lawyers USA recognized her as one of five (5) "Women Lawyers of Note" nationwide.

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