Motorist seeks $50K after vehicle run off road by tractor-trailer

Michelle Massey Oct. 4, 2010, 5:20am

A Plaquemines Parish resident has filed a personal injury lawsuit asking for more than $50,000 after his vehicle was run off the road by a tractor-trailer.

Roy Desalvo and Laura Arb Desalvo filed suit against Progressive Insurance Co., Southern Aggregates Material Service Inc. and Richard Higdon on Sept. 16 in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Sept. 30.

The accident occurred on Jan. 11, as Desalvo was operating his vehicle northbound on Louisiana Highway 23 in Jefferson Parish. In the course of his employment, defendant Higdon was operating a tractor trailer also going northbound on Louisiana Highway 23.

Desalvo states he was in the right hand turn lane when Higdon changed lanes and forced Desalvo's vehicle off the roadway.

Desalvo's vehicle struck a high concrete curbing and then the adjacent railroad tracks.

According to the complaint, Higdon was cited for improper lane usage.

Higdon is accused of gross and wanton negligence and lack of skill for failing to keep a proper lookout, failure to ensure the lane of intended movement was clear of traffic before turning, failing to signal before changing lanes, improper lane use, failing to keep his truck under control and failing to steer his truck properly.

Defendant Southern Aggregate is accused of negligence for permitting the reckless and negligent operation of their tractor trailer truck by an incapable and unskilled operator, failing to properly lookout over the vehicle's use and failing to properly train, supervise and update Higdon on safe and proper driving and road safety procedures.

Roy Desalvo is seeking damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and distress, medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, property damages, medical expenses, interest and court costs.

Laura Desalvo is seeking damages for loss of love and affection, loss of society and companionship, impairment of sexual relations, loss of performance of material services, loss of financial support, loss of aid and assistance in helping care for the three minor children of the marriage and loss of felicity.

The plaintiffs are represented by Ronald D. Morrison and Ed Doskey of Morrison & Morrison in Metairie.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10cv03323

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