Huntington Beach Man Settles Suit Against Trucking Company for $28 Million

Philip Dorhman, resident of Huntington Beach, settled his lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court against a large trucking company and truck maintenance company for $28 Million.

Mr. Dorhman's suit arose out of an accident that occurred on January 9, 2001 when he was driving Northbound on the I-5 in Irvine passing Sand Canyon Blvd. At that time a large commercial tractor trailer which was heading Southbound lost a wheel. The wheel continued to roll at approximately 60 mph until it crossed the center divider, flew into the air and came down upon Mr. Dorhman's Ford F150 pick-up truck with a combined closing speed of 120 mph. The 180 pound wheel crushed the cab where Mr. Dorhman sat and caused him severe injuries including brain damage and left him legally blind.

Mr. Dorhman was a construction supervisor for Control Air in Huntington Beach. He was also a volunteer fireman on the Huntington Beach Fire Department. His wife, Julie, is a nurse at Hoag Memorial Hospital.

Daniel J. Callahan of Callahan & Blaine, counsel for Mr. Dorhman, negotiated a settlement of Mr. Dorhman's claims through the use of Alexander Polski at J.A.M.S. in Orange County. This settlement calls for the payment of slightly in excess of $28 Million over time to Mr. Dohrman and his wife, Julie.

The cause of the accident was hotly contested. Evidence showed that the large trucking company did not follow its own company guidelines which require all drivers to perform a pre-trip inspection of their vehicle including checking the wheel lug nuts prior to each trip.

Mr. Daniel Callahan of Callahan & Blaine in Santa Ana, counsel for the Dorhman's, states that the large trucking company "failed to follow its own guidelines, federal regulations and motor carrier vehicle regulations and in affect, through it's gross negligence, created a situation where injury if not death was certain to occur. It was not a question of whether an accident would occur, but when."

The large trucking company in defense claimed that the truck servicing company had over torqued the lug nuts which caused severe stress upon the lug bolts causing them to fracture from within. The company claims that this stress could not have been detected through either a visual or manual inspection. The large trucking company had insurance through Zurich and Lloyds of London as did the truck servicing company.