In the recent case of Panzera v. O’Neal, a man was killed in a fatal accident when he was struck by a large semi-truck on an interstate in 2011. The man had been trying to cross the interstate on foot. After the accident, the victim’s family brought a lawsuit claiming that the truck driver acted negligently in hitting the man. The plaintiffs also filed a lawsuit against the supermarket chain that employed the driver. In response, the truck driver and the supermarket chain filed a motion for summary judgment.
During the hearing on the motion for summary judgment, evidence was offered indicating that the victim had climbed over a chainlink fence to cross the dark highway immediately before he was killed. Evidence also showed that the man was wearing dark attire and that the accident occurred in the middle of the night, at roughly 3 a.m. During his testimony, the driver stated that he slammed on his brakes and tried to swerve away from the victim immediately before making the impact. Police officers testified to seeing long skid marks on the highway at the time they responded to the accident, corroborating the truck driver’s testimony that he attempted to avoid hitting the victim.