Michigan family awarded over $2 million over wrongful death from logging truck crash

by John Chapman

A Bay County, Michigan jury has determined that a logging company and its driver are responsible for the death of a young man two years ago. In the dark early morning hours of September 12, 2011, 22 year-old Christopher J. Groulx was driving his Pontiac G6 in Garfield Township, Michigan, when he struck a John Deere logging vehicle from behind. The logging vehicle was being driven by Danny F. Bard Jr., an employee of Shawn Muma Logging. Groulx died as a result of the collision.

Bard had left a work site about 20 minutes before the crash and was travelling about 15 miles per hour. Following the incident, police reports indicated that the logging vehicle did not have the required lights that would have warned Groulx about the vehicle’s presence.

In criminal proceedings, Bard pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of a moving violation causing death. In 2012, Bard was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay $1,435.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Bard and his employer. Groulx’s mother served as the plaintiff in the case, on behalf of his family. The jury awarded $500,000 for pain and suffering, $1.5 million for loss of love, society and companionship from the time of death to the present, and $75,000 for each year through 2023 for future damages. In economic damages, the jury awarded $20,881 related to Groulx’s funeral and burial costs, $25,000 related to loss of financial support, loss of services and $2,000 per year through 2028.

HO&P has the resources and experience to see your case through

While trucking company lawsuits serve many valuable purposes, they aren’t for the faint of heart. There are unique laws and regulations that are designed specifically to protect motorists from the negligent actions of truck drivers and trucking companies.

Trucking lawsuits can also be time-consuming and challenging. Many trucking companies and their insurers are well-funded and are willing to fight tooth and nail to avoid liability for their negligence. Trucking lawsuits can also be expensive. To properly prepare a case, an attorney may need to hire expert witnesses in the fields of trucking, trucking regulations, accident reconstruction and life care planning. To even the playing field, victims need experienced, aggressive attorneys who will protect them in their time of need and force the trucking companies and their insurers to take responsibility for their actions.

Given the complexities of this area of the law, the high costs associated with bringing such cases and the enormous damages often at stake, the last thing a victim of a trucking accident should do is entrust their 18-wheeler case to a lawyer with little or no experience with trucking accident litigation.

At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, our attorneys have tried dozens of cases involving accidents with 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles. Our attorneys have helped achieve a $36 million verdict for the family of a teenager injured in a bus crash in East Texas. They have negotiated a $15 million settlement of a case involving an 18-wheeler accident that killed several members of the same family. And they achieved verdicts or settlements of $7.25 million, $5.2 million, $5 million, and $1.8 million in other 18-wheeler cases, just to name a few.

If you or a loved one has been injured or if you have lost someone in an accident involving a commercial truck, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering. Contact us today by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.

by John Chapman

John Chapman is a licensed attorney with experience in complex commercial litigation (including securities fraud, RICO, shareholder oppression, and derivative actions) and personal injury litigation.