Insurance Companies for Fatigued Trucker Pay Limits to Police Sergeant
Zvonko Rozic not only drove a rock truck for Tarmac America, he also delivered pizza several nights a week. By Friday afternoon on February 18, 2005 Rozic had driven more than 90 hours over the prior eight days, way over the maximum permitted by federal law and Tarmac's own policies.
Sergeant Jane Doe had that Friday off and had just picked up her son Colton from school when the tractor trailer turned left in front of her. It was so sudden that Jane hit the back tire of the tractor before the trailer even entered her lane.
Fortunately, Colton suffered no permanent injury, but Jane fractured her right leg, knee and ankle, along with her left knee. The right leg injury required surgical implant of rods and screws, and Jane had to have carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists and epidural injections in her back.
The trucking company fought hard on liability as well as damages. They claimed Sergeant Doe was speeding and unbelted. Rozic testified that he had made a complete stop before initiating his turn, but Pajcic & Pajcic found eyewitness contradiction of his version.
The fight over liability also meant that all the evidence about the trucker's excessive hours would come before the jury.
While Sergeant Doe looks wonderful after her treatment, she has significant physical limitations which forced her to take early retirement. The primary carrier finally tendered its limits a month before trial, and the first excess carrier five days before trial. While Jane cannot ride horses like she used to, at least she has more time for her children and the champion Catahoulas on the family farm in North Jacksonville.