His billion-dollar judgment in hand, Curry Pajcic is talking out about what took place in the collection of truck wrecks in 2017 that took the lifetime of Connor Dzion and led to the monumental jury award.
The arguments are not new Pajcic, legal professional for the Dzion household in Florida’s Nassau County courtroom, offered them through the 5-day trial. But given that couple men and women heard individuals in person, Pajcic appears to be on a quest to get his watch of what transpired out to a broader viewers. He held a push conference just after the verdict, and a Pajcic & Pajcic affiliate achieved out to FreightWaves to give up a for a longer time review of the functions of that evening.
Pajcic has the gain of the “other side” becoming quiet or nonexistent. One of the two trucking corporations concerned, Canada-centered Kahkashan, has proved extremely hard to speak to — for the two FreightWaves and other media, primarily based on reviews. Kahkashan was represented by the Orlando workplace of Wilson Elser, a national law organization. But endeavours to make contact with attorneys for the organization have unsuccessful.
The second organization, Staten Island, New York-based AJD Business Providers, is shown by the Section of Transportation as inactive. Its law firm withdrew from the circumstance in 2019, and it unsuccessful to reply any of the court’s steps heading back again to that year.
That clears the deck for Pajcic. The summary he supplied to FreightWaves goes into good depth.
The fundamental principles of the circumstance had been greatly described. There was a truck crash on Interstate 95 north of the Jacksonville, Florida, area temperature was not a factor Dzion rolled up to the resulting backup just after about an hour and a truck heading toward the backup at 70 mph hit the brakes a next in advance of impact but plowed into 20 cars, such as Dzion’s.
Connor Dzion was just 18 when he was killed. He experienced not long ago started classes at the University of North Florida.
The statement by Pajcic takes intention at the two truck motorists associated, one who brought on the backup and the second whose wreck at the tail stop of it killed Dzion.
The driver of the truck that crashed to start with has been determined in lawful paperwork as Russel Rogatenko, driving for AJD. Pajcic’s statement, with no identifying Rogatenko by name, rips into the point that he was guiding the wheel in the first location. “The lead crash truck driver under no circumstances ought to have been on the street with his hazardous [Pajcic’s italics] site visitors and felony history,” Pajcic wrote. “He also has a lengthy record of too much speeding, log guide violations, running weigh stations, a number of prior crashes and disqualifying visitors tickets.”
AJD “recklessly” employed him “and set him on the highway in violation of every [regulation] on employing, teaching, supervision, dispatching and entrustment of professional cars around the road in interstate commerce,” Pajcic writes. Ordinary checks on his qualifications weren’t carried out, Pajcic stated, and the attitude of AJD was “basically, regardless of what it took, get the occupation accomplished and get paid.”
The to start with wreck transpired at 9:10 p.m. Pajcic mentioned the AJD truck driver, heading south on 95, was on the lookout down at his cell phone though “fast approaching” a entire-sizing RV pulling a motor vehicle guiding it. Rogatenko slammed into the RV, with no report that his brakes had been applied.
“The influence rips the trailered car from the RV and the car or truck explodes into flames,” Pajcic’s statement suggests. With that collision, the AJD truck flipped “over and across” 95 south, blocking two of the a few lanes.
Provided the huge backup that ensued, Pajcic writes, “there are thousands of blinking and flashing lights.” Additionally, overhead indicators were being swiftly adjusted to declare “Traffic crash in advance, be ready to prevent.” Pajcic notes that the indications were in English, related to the simple fact that the driver who crashed into Dzion — identified in courtroom files as Yadwinder Sangha — did not talk the language.
At 10:30, about 80 minutes after the initial wreck, Dzion arrived upon the backup, which minimize across all three lanes and was about 8-tenths of a mile extensive.
In the meantime, Pajcic writes that Sangha was on the 25th hour of a trip amongst Montreal and his location of West Palm Seashore, Florida. Sangha “drives suitable previous several signs warning of the traffic crash forward,” Pajcic writes. “Either he can’t go through them, or he does not see them, driving even though distracted or fatigued. [Sangha] places his completely-loaded semi-tractor trailer on cruise handle at 70 mph.”
The landscape struggling with the driver as he approached the backup would have been a mile of “flat, straight roadway,” and at 70 mph, it would have supplied him a lot more than 50 seconds to “see, understand, react to and stay clear of the targeted traffic jam ahead, just like hundreds of automobiles had finished prior to him,” Pajcic writes. On the other hand, the black box download from the truck records the truck making use of its brakes just one second right before the collision.
Following the wreck, Pajcic writes, Sangha went back to Canada. Attempts to find him and his mobile telephone information ended up ignored as “powerless in Canada,” Pajcic writes.
Pajcic then recaps the intestine-wrenching way in which Dzion’s mom and dad grew to become involved when he didn’t arrive residence, headed out to the scene of the wreck and noticed their son’s human body on the highway.
Pajcic writes that his company had at initial offered to settle at the restrictions of the company’s coverage coverage, but AJD turned down that. The recap does observe that, as a person legal professional experienced before claimed was most likely, the insurer for AJD “tendered its boundaries devoid of resolving all the promises,” at an sum that was previously turned down in settlement talks. But Pajcic mentioned the sum that was tendered that by now experienced been rejected came right after “some adverse rulings by the demo court docket.”
That was adopted by the withdrawal of the company symbolizing AJD, Cole, Scott & Kissane. Court docket files be aware that there was no substitute legal professional, and AJD was not read from once again.
The $900 million in punitive damages that AJD was hit with, Pajcic writes, was for the “despicable perform in the using the services of, supervision, dispatching and entrustment of a recognized harmful driver.”
Pajcic states nothing at all about the collectibility of the award, nevertheless offered that AJD is in essence a ghost and the insurance company has paid out its limitations, even a modest portion of the gigantic jury award is very likely uncollectible. (The billion-dollar overall arrives from an additional $100 million in an award typically to be borne by Kahkashan).
Continue to, Pajcic notes that the measurement of the overall award is a indication that “the jury wanted to send a message: stick to and implement the policies we all share and that secure us all.”
“In summary this is a really sad and tragic circumstance involving terrible truckers and a terrible trucking company,” Pajcic concludes.
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