Derek J. Spada Awarded $2 Million Settlement in Case Against National Car Maintenance Corporation

case result 2 million recovered

Partner Derek J. Spada recovered 2 million dollars for a Basch & Keegan client in a difficult case against a national car maintenance corporation.

After getting his tires rotated on his pickup truck, our client drove a minimal amount over the next few days. On day 4 after the rotation, he and his son were going camping. They hooked the camper back up to the truck and got on the road. While driving 60 – 65 miles per hour on a highway, his back passenger side wheel fell off because the lug nuts were not properly tightened when the tire rotation was performed.

The corner of his truck dropped onto the pavement, causing the truck and the trailer to jackknife. The trailer swung around and stuck the driver’s side of the truck, thereby pushing the truck off the highway, down and embankment and into the guardrail. The camper overturned in the process, jerking the truck after the initial impact. Our client felt two separate hard side impacts, each of which jarred his body significantly. The airbags deployed at some point during the collision. The truck and trailer were both totaled.

Our client underwent multiple surgeries after the car accident. The collision was physically and emotionally devasting.

After years of litigation, Derek was able to prove that the mechanic who worked on our client’s car was negligent. Derek immediately secured the truck and obtained a surveillance video showing the work being performed. The video shows that the technician used an incorrect torque stick, which resulted in the lug nuts being inadequately tightened. This can be seen by the color of the stick used. For our client’s truck, the stick should have been white. The stick in the video is not white. From the video, it also appeared that the technician did not keep the torque stick and impact wrench on the lug nuts long enough to tighten them. He moved too quickly from one lug nut to the next.

Derek hired two mechanical experts to review the evidence and inspect the truck. The experts explained how the lug nuts gradually loosened while our client was driving on the highway and ultimately the wheel detached due to the negligence of the car maintenance company. Both experts concluded that there was no plausible explanation as to how the rear wheel on our client’s truck detached, other than the Defendant’s negligence.

The case went to mediation where Derek held the car maintenance corporation accountable and convinced their insurance company to pay $2,000,000.00.

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