Usually when a trucker falsifies his logs to drive over his allowable hours of service, then falls asleep at the wheel and gets in an accident, he is the target of the lawsuit. But this trucker was the one bringing the lawsuit. And a jury just awarded him $80 million.
On May 3rd of 2015, Lauro Lozano had just gotten home after dropping off a load in San Antonio, TX when his phone rang. His boss called him and told him to get back out on the road and pick up another load.
According to court documents, when Lozano told him that he was out of hours and would need to take his 34 hour reset, his boss told him to falsify his log books. Fearing for his job, Lozano did what he was told and got back to the yard to pick up his truck at around 5:00am.
On May 6th, Lozano fell asleep at the wheel and rear-ended another truck. The crash left him with debilitating injuries including a crushed pelvis and broken ribs.
During the trial, other truckers testified that they had also been pushed by the carrier owner to falsify their logs.
Almost exactly four years after the accident, a jury in Texas found that Lozano’s carrier was responsible for the crash because they pushed him to falsify his logs and caused him to be on the road while fatigued. The jury found that Lozano was entitled to a $5 million payment for pain and suffering as well as an additional $75 million in punitive or exemplary damages.