blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: Court Of Appeals Decision Today

5.25.2007

Court Of Appeals Decision Today


Some may remember a horrible accident and huge lawsuit in Wise County that involved the Randy Hughes family. (See DMN coverage here and Messenger coverage here.)

The Fort Worth Court of Appeals released a decision this morning in the case that is here, but you darn near need to be board certified in personal injury law to understand it. The one part I'm certain of, however, is that$6,658,000 in exemplary damages were taken away from the Plaintiffs. There could be more to it - I'll try to figure it out.

(That scurry of activity you hear is the Messenger's staff knocking each other down in order to put this in tomorrow's paper.)

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems funny that TXI is the one being blasted for allowing a driver with a so called fraudulant drivers license operate a truck when the State issued the driver the license with a fake Social Security number. At what point does the State take responsibility for something like this?

Did I misunderstand the whole "driver's license" issue of this story?

Anonymous said...

It may surprise you to learn that the State gives drivers licenses to people who do not have a social security number - all you have to do is check the box. THAT IS JUST WRONG.

Anonymous said...

Why should a person have to be on a federal retirement insurance plan in order to be able to drive? Moreover, why should someone have to drive a vehicle ("may I see your driver's license?") in order to use a credit card at the mall? This wreck boils down to people not knowing how to drive. Yet we get all upset when anyone tries to at least slow things down a bit so that bad drivers will have a couple of seconds more to react to situations. Makes a difference, but in Wise County if you want fewer accidents you get labeled a Nazi.

Anonymous said...

To annonymous 12:25

?????

Anonymous said...

once agian the rock truck industry gets way with murder that is what they did plain and simple and they should fry

Anonymous said...

Didn't read everything and don't remember either, but...SUV comes into wrong lane of traffic and it is Truck Driver's Fault...HOW??? What if the same SUV came into another SUV's lane of traffic...whose fault is it then. The public is constantly trying to lay the blame at whoever is driving the commercial vehicle...in fact collection agencies for our Fire Departments will deliberately send bills to the commercial vehicles involved regardless of who is at fault. How is that right? I am not saying the rock trucks are great but the fault of an accident should not be contingent upon who was driving the commercial vehicle and who has the deepest pockets.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I read the messenger story and from what i get is the truck driver was in the wrong lane but moved back into his lane before the wreck and it actually happened in his lane. That means she was in his lane. How is that his fault?

Anonymous said...

what are exemplary damages?

dagvmo said...

Ironically, Mr. Watkins, the Father of Kim Hughes, the driver is also the driver of the truck that killed my Father years ago. It was an accident and we never sued Mr. Watkins and his family. I guess times have changed.

Anonymous said...

2:20 that creeps me out. KARMA?

Anonymous said...

The trailer was still in the suv's lane when she hit. Isn't using a fraudulent social security card a felony?? Why wasn't he charged with that. He was also here illegally and had already been deported twice. He should have never been on the road with that truck. I'd put money on it that he is still here in this country driving a truck. Can't build those fences down south fast enough to suit me!

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot, 12:48PM. I totally agree, 12:59PM. I asked myself the same thing, 1:59PM.

Geezzzzz, dagvmo, this is totally creepy, just like 3:56PM says - I thought Karma the minute I saw your post too. My sympathies, and respect to you and your family for not being lawsuit whores.

You're an idiot too, 3:57PM. Too bad it wasn't you and 12:48PM in that wreck. Read all that legal stuff - I did - but I doubt it would make any sense to idiots like you two.

I blame it on the cell phones.

And, I avoid that road like the plague - it should be outlawed. I'll drive 25 miles each way to stay off it. It's just death waiting to happen.

dagvmo said...

KARMA? I don't know. I think bad things just happen and good things just happen. I think what we do with it is the cosmic question. As far as what I have decided to do with it is to live my life the way my Father would have wanted me to, with lots of fun and loads of laughter. As far as this truck driver goes we need to build the fences a wee bit faster. He can just go back to Mexico when the going gets rough. I don't like the idea of a lot of people with a little accountability. Mr. Watkins stayed in Wise County and had a nice family. I wish with all my heart that he still had that family.

I have lived here all my life and honestly the trucks still freak me out. I know, I'm supposed to be fun loving.

M&M said...

I didn't understand some of Judge Fostel's rulings during that trial. He didn't allow the cell phone records, which showed that the suv driver's phone was in use at the time of the accident. Nor did he allow the highway patrol's accident report, where the reporting officer indicated in the report that it was the suv drivers fault.

Plus, a lot of the focus on the plaintiff side was that the truck driver was here illegally. I don't know what that has to do with proving or disproving who was at fault.

Anonymous said...

So, after all those fences are built, ya'll tell me who is:

Gonna pick our fruits and vegetables? Seems like Ronald Reagan said something about that once upon a time.

Fix our roads - I see a lot of road construction going on around here these days, thanks to big oil and gravel truck damage, and most of the ones that are really working are Mexicans. Definitely not white folks. The white folks stand around eating bananas, watching the Mexicans work. Or, they drive the pilot trucks, with the windows rolled up and the AC on.

Mow our lawns.

Build our houses, or replace our roofs.

The list goes on and on.

Hell, I'll bet none of you jerks raving about fence building, condemning the poor Mexican gravel truck driver, etc., are all Native Americans, are you? Your families immigrated here way back when. That's just too easy to forget now isn't it?

Just imagine a day without a Mexican. Bet ya won't even dare. It's just too easy to sit and bitch, or possibly wait for some lawsuit to come your way.

What bigots you all are. Pathetic. Oh, yeah, I'm pearly-white myself, but I do have some compassion and understanding of a very complex problem. Fence building ain't gonna solve it.

Anonymous said...

to anon 6:09 I grow my own garden, and I pick my own fruit. I mow my own lawn. I Build my own fences. I have replaced my own roof twice. I also pour and finish my own concrete!!!!!!! I have a full time job and have raised three boys that work for a living and are raising families of thier own. They as I have never stood around eating bananas watching someone else do our job.

Ellie Bay said...

OK 6:09, I agree that they may have overdone the "illegal" thing, but I believe the point and the focus were the fact that an illegal immigrant with an illegally obtained license either has not clue what our laws are, or really doesn't care since he has a pattern of breaking them. Therefore, little yellow and white lines in the roadway, speed limits, and "No Passing" signs he may not have been able to READ may not have meant as much to him as to the average citizen. (Not that the average citizen really pays attention - I see the evidence of that everyday on FM 51 South.

That being said, lay off the "who will do our dirty work" speech. That one grew tired a long time ago. Legal citizens will perform the work - just as they do now in several regions of our country. It may just be at a slightly higher wage and cost to the consumer. If memory serves, agriculture is not required to pay the same minimum wage as other industries due to the unpredictable nature of crops and weather. I know several family farmers (white, black, and hispanic) who do all the planting and havesting themselves.

As far as the "who will mow the lawn and clean the toilet" whimper. The same people who do it now in most cases. The people who live there and are responsible for upkeep anyway. (Sorry folks, NEVER have I had ANYONE clean my toilets other than me - with the exception of my mom when I was too little to swing a scrub brush.) The majority of Americans don't have maid service and I know plenty of teenagers willing to push a mower for a few extra bucks each summer.

So quit the f'ing panic attacks - it's not going destroy the economy if we ENFORCE the laws we already have in place.

Anonymous said...

Sooooo 6:09, How many illegals do you own?

M&M said...

Anon 6:09 PM You are a raging idiot and need to keep your mouth shut, because you don't know what you are talking about.

#1. All that work you are talking about will get done by people who are here legally. I was in Kansas City during spring break & I was talking to the woman working the desk at the motel we stayed at. I learned she had moved there from north Texas about a year ago. I asked what she felt were the biggest differences. Among other things, she said there were no illegal immigrants. I asked how she knew that? She said all the construction crews and lawn service crews were white. That kind of work will get done. That's a stupid argument to say that work won't get done if we stop illegal immigration.

#2 Yes, our ancestors immigrated to the US, but they did it LEGALLY. Do you not comprehend the difference between immigrating legally and illegally? They did it legally and they assimilated into the american culture and learned english. The current illegals do not. You are a moron by trying to compare apples and oranges. There is no similarities at all.

#3 I would like to imagine a day when illegals don't get free medical care in our ER'S, don't get medicaid that provides them with free dental care and free eyecare and free healthcare, don't get government funded housing through the likes of LULAC, don't get free education for their kids, don't fill up our prison and jail systems and commit all sorts of crimes in our country. They get all this and most don't pay much in taxes at all. So, yes, I can imagine our country without all these illegals. It would be nice and a lot less of burden on the rest of us.

#4 It is not a race issue. You pull out the race card by calling people who want our country to enforce it's existing immigration laws bigots. You are the one who is pathetic. It is not a racial issue. It is the only defense you and the others who don't see a problem have and so you throw out the racist card. How about arguing the issue on it's merits alone: and that is that they are here ILLEGALLY. How is it racist to welcome legal immigration but not welcome illegal immigration? Where is race a part of this equation?

Anonymous said...

After reading that I have one question... Trooper Raney where was the expert-intelligent DPS reconstruction team testimony on your behalf? I would feel left out too.

Anonymous said...

6:09 PM here, just wanted to let you all know that I love stirring up the shiate.

12:38PM - None, I scrub my own toilets, just like 11:23AM might do, but since they didn't mention that, I don't know.

Ellie bay, I think the Mexican guy driving that gravel truck could certainly understand the lines on the road......I think that's an international thing....I think it was a terrible conflagration of cosmic instances that caused a horrible thing to occur. That kid listening to music on his head phones who turned off the road to his driveway was probably part and party to the whole thing, and then that Kim comes driving down that road, with all those people in her SUV, and the cell phone rings, and there is a blowout, or she runs over something laying in the road - that's what the crux of this whole shiate match is about. That's why I avoid those kinds of roads like the plague.

It's a sad situation, but I'll be darned if you can all blame it on an illegal immigrant who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As for the rest of your diatribe, EB, STFU - I was calling out the idiots with my post, and you responded............


m&m, your post at 6:02PM encouraged me to respond initially. Now, you are on my ass. I must think you have some questions about the initial court decision and current appeal decisions. Refresh your memory of that post please. As for your other blabbering, well, now I know you are just another one of those sheeple. I hope you all get raptured soon.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I dont understand how TXI would have known that he had a fraudulant drivers license. Did the state issue it or did he buy it off the street?(I know you can do that) IF the state issued it weither he used a fake SS# or not he still had to take the same test to get it. Either way if it looked just like mine and yours how would TXI know?

I know he was here illegally but what does that have to with his ability to drive?

I feel for this family to have such a loss and I would hate to have to decide who was at fault and how much a life is worth born or unborn. I think that too many Americans are sue happy and trying to get rich off tragic events in life. If this was the rock truck drivers fault then the family should recieve money to help pay for the funnerals and money to help them pay for the theropist that they will need to move on from this tragedy. I mean really how is 15 million dollars going to make this better? Is a new house, car/truck and everything under the sun going to help? I mean maybe more for the child that will have to grow up without one of his parents (since most households now have 2 working parents). If you just want the large company to pay this amount fine them for it and make the money go to road improvements or something(i am not sure what) that will help prevent this from happening again. This was an accident no matter who was at fault.

M&M said...

I just read the appeals judges comments in the messenger today. It would seem they had some of the same concerns about how Fostel ran the trial. Not allowing pertinent evidence and allowing irrelevant information like the defendants illegal status.

Anonymous said...

just a quote from the story as to the fault and the sue happy ass holes in wise county, as i read this story and think back i wonder just how many illegals mr watkins employeed in his construction business or how many people with bad driving records drove his dump trucks. its funny how he retired in the months after the settlement and just shut his doors.

The opinion of the three-justice panel was not unanimous. Justice Anne Gardner, while agreeing with the other justices in reversal of the exemplary damage awards, wrote a dissenting opinion in which she wondered how any negligence could be found with the defendants.

“It was undisputed that the Yukon (Hughes’ vehicle) crossed over into the gravel truck’s own lane. It was undisputed that the Yukon struck the gravel truck in the gravel truck’s own lane ... Yet in this suit for wrongful death and injuries to the driver and occupants of the Yukon, we have a verdict and judgment based on negligence of the gravel truck’s driver, operator and owner. How can this be?” Gardner wrote.

M&M said...

6:09 You are really quite thick. My first post was to indicate that I don't agree with the way the judge handled the trial. For instance: the not allowing of evidence that I thought should have been allowed and also the fact that he allowed the plaintiff attorneys to focus on the fact that the truck driver was an illegal immigrant. Now, to clarify here: I don't want him here since he is here illegally, but I don't see where it is relevant to the case in trying to prove and determine who caused the accident.

And I noticed you did not respond to any of my points in my second post. Nice specific response by saying I'm one of the 'sheeple'.