In the media:
- Michigan Lawyers Weekly: "Counsel argued driver in fatal wreck was asleep at wheel - Witness said trucker had time to avoid car", Verdicts & Settlements, 12/23/2014
- Mlive: "Art Van Furniture pays $1.37 million to settle lawsuit arising from company truck crash that killed couple in Metro Detroit" 12/11/2014 by Gus Burns
- Oakland Press: "Victims who died while trapped under semi on I-75 remembered as 'excellent parents'" 07/11/2013 by John Turk
- Oakland Press: "Two motorists die after vehicle trapped under semi-truck in Troy" 07/01/2013 by John Turk
Type of Action: Wrongful Death (automobile accident)
Description of Case:
We understand that no amount of money can bring this loved son, brother, father and friend back. We hope that the proper questions are asked of the parties involved and that the family finally finds closure.
Lonnie Moore, Plaintiff, and his fiancée had just started a new chapter in their lives. Lonnie had a new job and they just had their first baby together five months prior. After months at home with just the baby, Lonnie decided they both needed just one night away from it all to celebrate their good fortune, future and new family. So, on the night of June 30, 2013, Lonnie and his fiancée set out for an evening in downtown Detroit. The evening was going great per Lonnie's brother, who was last person to talk to Lonnie, who received a phone call after the evening was underway and said he hadn't heard that much joy in his brother’s voice in months.
On their way back, their car experienced mechanical problems which affected some of the exterior lights, so they put on their hazards and continued at a reduced speed. The rest of what is known comes from a crucially important eyewitness, Steven Mildge, who was also a Border Patrol Officer and 15-year veteran truck driver who was traveling one lane over from Lonnie and Defendant Art Van’s tractor trailer rig. He said Lonnie's car was there to be seen, "plain as day", and that Defendant Art Van Truck Driver had "ample time to avoid what happened" and he did not understand why the truck did not simply switch lanes to avoid it. In fact, Eyewitness Mildge testified that he had enough time to think over and over and over again in his mind, “Why isn’t the Art Van truck taking evasive action? Why isn’t he pulling over? Why isn’t he doing something to avoid the crash?”, until finally, the eyewitness had to look away.
After the terrible rear-end collision by a huge Art Van semi-truck that killed the Art Van Driver claimed he had no recollection of even hitting the car. After Defendant's driver admitted he wasn't paying attention while driving, Defendants then resorted to attempting to intimidate Lonnie's surviving family members, including his mom, the Personal Representative, by going on an all-out smear campaign against him. Specifically, Defendants deposed Lonnie’s ex-wife and ex-girlfriends and even their relatives, including Lonnie's 18 year-old daughter from his first marriage, to try to find someone who would say that Lonnie was a worthless person, a bad father. In other words, that Lonnie was someone a jury should not consider worthy and whose life didn't matter much. However, everybody testified the same way, namely, that Lonnie was a good and caring man, a great father, and their best friend.
This case settled through an Oakland County ADR panel for $1,375,000.
Attorneys for this case were Tom R. Pabst, Michael A. Kowalko, Jarrett M. Pabst and Kenneth Karasick.
Injuries Alleged: Lost future income, death, mental anguish, emotional distress
Name of Case: Moore v. Art Van, et al
Court: Oakland County Circuit Court
Case No: 14-139524-NI
Tried Before: N/A
Name of Judge: Patrick O'Brien
Special Damages: N/A
Date of Verdict: N/A