A Farmington, Missouri family received a $7 million verdict in their trucking accident lawsuit against defendant Dunaway Timber Company and its semi-truck driver, Morgan Quisenberry. Roger Reagan was killed when Morgan Quisenberry’s trailer went across the center line (off-tracked) while taking a curve in the roadway. Quisenberry’s trailer clipped a Jeep Cherokee; then Quisenberry’s tractor crossed the center line and struck a Kia head-on and veered directly into the cab of the semi-truck Roger Reagan was driving.
The case, tried in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Arkansas primarily involved Quisenberry’s qualifications to drive a commercial vehicle and Dunaway Timber’s failure to appropriately screen its drivers, including Quisenberry. At trial, Emison introduced evidence that Quisenberry had lied on his application and had received two license revocations. Despite these infractions, Emison showed that Dunaway Timber Company could have easily discovered Quisenberry’s previous infractions and, if Dunaway had done so, Quisenberry never should have been permitted to drive a tractor trailer. Jurors were told that Dunaway Timber could have learned about Quisenberry’s license revocations with a simple background search that took only 15 minutes and cost $15.