The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Jury Rules U-Haul Must Pay $84 Million to Injured Customer

April 24, 2008

DALLAS --- A jury has ruled that U-Haul International Inc. must pay $84 million to a 74-year-old man who was injured when the U-Haul truck he rented ran over him, according to Bloomberg news service.

The man, Talmadge Waldrip, parked the truck on a "slight incline" and the parking brake failed, his attorney, Ted Lyon, told Bloomberg in a phone interview. Waldrip said U-Haul failed to maintain the truck, causing the accident.

"The truck's parking brake did not work at all," Lyon said. "He stepped out of the truck and it rolled right over him."

The Dallas court found U-Haul negligent, awarding Waldrip $84.25 million. The figure includes $63 million in punitive damages. The verdict is the 11th-largest jury award this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

U-Haul, a unit of Reno, Nevada-based Amerco, said it planned to appeal the verdict. "The damages awarded are particularly outrageous given the circumstances of this case," the company said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg."The final verdict is another example of abuse of the legal system against corporate citizens in America."

Waldrip's pelvis was crushed in the 2006 accident, leaving him unable to walk and with no bowel control, Lyon said.

Waldrip alleged that the rented truck had 234,000 miles on it and was poorly maintained, Lyon said.

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  1. 1. e165cb [ April 25, 2008 @ 06:21AM ]

    unable to walk....with no bowl control. I think the settlement is sound. Sure he could have gotten out of the way, but I would think this will remind us of the importance of proper vehicle maintenance, which is the purpose of punitive damages.

  2. 2. Batman [ April 26, 2008 @ 11:22AM ]

    I don't think it's any real secret that U-haul vehicles tend to be less maintained and higher mileage than other rental truck companies. Take a look at the widespread network of U-haul vendors (I think a liquor store in town also rents U-haul trucks) and issues with uniform maintenance and service will be obvious. When you use this business model with older high mileage vehicles what else would you expect?


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