Margarita Trevino, Individually and as Representative of the Estate of Melissa Trevino, Deceased, et. al. v. Salatiel Polanco d/b/a D&C Trucking and Anderson Columbia Co., Inc
Partner Jaime A. Saenz defended Salatiel Polanco d/b/a D&C Trucking in a Wrongful Death lawsuit filed on behalf of Margarita Trevino, Individually, and as Representative of the Estate of Melissa Trevino (“Trevino Plaintiffs”) in the 293rd District Court of Maverick County, Texas. The lawsuit arose from a multi-vehicular accident that occurred in a construction zone on October 28, 2014 on Highway 277 South between Eagle Pass, Texas and Carrizo Springs, Texas. Mr. Salatiel Polanco, a commercial truck driver, was driving his tractor and trailer through the construction zone when he rear-impacted several vehicles that had been stopped on the roadway. The accident resulted in three fatalities.
The Trevino Plaintiffs contended that Mr. Polanco was negligent in the operation of his tractor-trailer; specifically, in failing to keep a proper lookout, in failing to timely apply the brakes, and in other particulars, the negligence of which was the proximate cause of the accident. Mr. Polanco contended that the construction zone signs were not properly placed on the roadway by the crew of Defendant Anderson Columbia Co., Inc (“Anderson Columbia”). The Trevino Plaintiffs had settled with Anderson Columbia before trial. Anderson Columbia remained in the case, defending the Wrongful Death claims of the families of the other 2 fatalities, the Brown Plaintiffs and Givens Plaintiffs. Mr. Polanco’s insurer had settled with the Brown Plaintiffs and Givens Plaintiffs before trial.
The trial began on August 6, 2018 and concluded on August 21, 2018, with a jury verdict. The jury found that Mr. Polanco was 100% negligent and awarded the Trevino Plaintiffs $3 Million. The Trevino Plaintiffs sought $25 Million during closing statements. Pursuant to a settlement credit, a take nothing Judgment was entered. However, the Trevino Plaintiffs and Mr. Polanco agreed to a confidential high-low settlement agreement before the verdict. The Court later granted a mistrial as to the claims of the Brown Plaintiffs and Givens Plaintiffs against Anderson Columbia.