Suit filed over garbage truck and motorcycle collision

Michelle Massey Aug. 9, 2010, 9:55am


The family of a deceased motorcycle rider has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer of the garbage truck driver who allegedly caused the fatal crash.

Kenneth G. Spearman, Sr. and Wilma H. Queen, individually and on behalf of their deceased son Kenneth G. Spearman, Jr. filed suit against Republic Services Inc., Allied Waste Industries Inc. and Kendrick D. Wade July 23 in federal court in New Orleans.

According to court documents, the crash occurred on Aug. 14, 2009 when a 2001 Mack garbage truck turned left directly into the motorcycle's path while traveling on Louisiana Highway 76 in West Baton Rouge.

The garbage truck's driver is accused of "negligently, carelessly, and recklessly" operating his truck. He also is accused of failing to yield to oncoming traffic, improperly turning left and causing the crash.

The other defendants are accused of negligent hiring, training, supervision, retention and entrustment of the truck. The deceased's family argues the defendants breached their duty by allowing drivers to be on-duty and drive more than legally allowed or while intoxicated, impaired, sleepy, ill or inattentive.

Spearman and Queen are seeking damages on behalf of their son for mental and physical pain and suffering, including pre-impact fear and loss of personal property. Individually, they are seeking damages for grief and mental anguish, loss of support, services, companionship, guidance and consortium, funeral and burial costs, plus interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Covington attorney Frances M. Phares and Los Angeles, Calif. attorney Roger D. Drake of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv02079

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