Interstate tractor-trailer accident is subject of suit

By Michelle Massey | Jan 13, 2011

A St. Tammany Parish resident has filed a lawsuit against a trucking company after he collided with a broken drive shaft and then crashed into a disabled tractor-trailer.

Aubrey Mizell Jr. and Hermelinda Mizell filed suit against SUA Insurance Co., Rodeo Transportation and Andre Thomas on Dec. 7 in St. Tammany Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Jan. 6.

The accident occurred on March 1, 2010 as Aubrey Mizell was driving a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier west on I-12.

Driving a 2002 Freightliner, defendant Thomas had moved onto the shoulder of the roadway after his rig lost its drive shaft.

Mizell collided with the drive shaft, causing a blow out of his front tire. He lost control of his vehicle and hit the disabled tractor-trailer.

According to the lawsuit, Mizell was thrown about in the car and suffered multiple personal, psychological and emotional injuries.

Defendant Thomas is accused of negligence for failing to maintain a proper look-out, failing to perform adequate pre-trip inspection, failing to observe due caution, inattentiveness while driving, failure to be attentive, failing to exercise reasonable safety and for violating regulations and statutes.

Defendant Rodeo Transportation is accused of negligence for failing to properly select, train and supervise their driver, for allowing an unqualified driver to remain on the road, failing to perform adequate pre-trip inspection, failing to scree and test their driver to monitor his safety orientation, for failing to provide remedial training of their driver and carelessly allowing a vehicle unfit for use to remain on the roadways.

Aubrey Mizell is seeking damages for physical pain, suffering and discomfort, mental anguish, aggravation and annoyance, disability, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of use/function of parts of body, bodily disability, impairment of psychological functioning and disability from engaging in recreation.

Hermelinda Mizell is seeking damages for deprivation of companionship, love, affection, consortium and society of her husband, grief, mental anguish and distress, loss of support, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Michael Hingle and Bryan A. Pfleeger of Michael Hingle & Associates in Slidell.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00023

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