Jury Awards $6.75 Million in Wrongful Death Case


After a two-week trial, a St. Louis City, Missouri jury returned a verdict of $6.75 million against Defendant Liberty Fruit Company and in favor of the Plaintiffs, the family of a man who was killed after a 37-foot, 26,000-pound Liberty Fruit box truck backed into and over him as he walked across a trucking lot.

The jury determined that the Liberty Fruit driver was operating his truck negligently at the time of the collision and that Liberty Fruit’s conduct exhibited reckless indifference or conscious disregard for the safety of others such that punitive damages were warranted. The jury awarded a total of $3 million in compensatory damages and an additional $3.75 million in punitive damages.

The deceased’s family was represented at trial by Stueve Siegel Hanson attorneys Todd Hilton and Curtis Shank, along with local counsel Gray, Ritter & Graham.

Following the verdict, Mr. Hilton, lead counsel for the Plaintiffs at trial, said:  “This is an incredibly tragic case. A 33-year old married, father of three was killed in a trucking collision that could have – and should have – been easily avoided had the defendant properly trained its St. Louis employees and had those employees followed industry standards for the safe operation of commercial vehicles while backing up in populated areas. We are pleased that we were able to bring some measure of justice to compensate the family for their horrific loss.”

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