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$1.06M settlement reached in tractor-trailer crash near Edwardsville

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 23, 2016

Attorney Troy Walton of Walton, Telken, Foster in Edwardsville recently announced a $1,060,000 settlement with a South Carolina-based trucking company and J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc., following a tractor-trailer crash.

Walton’s client, Eugene Brackman, is a Staunton resident and was severely injured in the October 2014 crash on Interstate 270 near Edwardsville.

According to the lawsuit, J.B. Hunt hired the South Carolina trucking company Epheson Transport LLC and its driver, Ephrem A. Sharew, to haul a trailer from Kansas to Pennsylvania.

The suit states that Sharew, while driving a 2006 Freightliner Columbia 120 tractor and hauling a J.B. Hunt trailer, stopped abruptly and without warning in heavy traffic on Interstate 270, causing Brackman to slam into the back of the tractor-trailer.

As a result of the crash, Brackman sustained injuries including right and left wrist fractures, a right tibial plateau fracture, a lacerated spleen, a fractured sternum and multiple spinal and rib fractures. He required several surgeries to repair the damage.

“Despite the initial severity of Mr. Brackman’s injuries, we are grateful that he has made an amazing recovery and was capable of returning to work within several months of the crash,” Walton stated in a release.

The suit alleged that J.B. Hunt was negligent in its decision to hire and retain Epheson Transport and Sharew when it allegedly knew that they were unfit to safely operate the tractor-trailer.

The insurer for Epheson Transport agreed to pay $1 million, its available policy limits, and J.B. Hunt agreed to pay an additional $60,000.

“In order to keep our families safe, it is imperative that trucking companies make certain that their drivers are well-qualified and thoroughly trained before allowing them out on our highways to operate 70,000 pound tractor-trailers,” Walton stated.

J.B. Hunt was represented by Robert Bassett and Jennifer Dickerson of Williams Venker & Sanders in St. Louis.

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