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