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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Cyclist Maimed By Garbage Truck Sues City


A cyclist who nearly died as a result of an accident with a Madeira Beach garbage truck has filed a lawsuit against the city alleging that their driver was negligent. The driver has been fired since the incident and was fined over $600 for failing to yield to the cyclist. The truck driver, however, never saw her.

As a result of the accident, the cyclist suffered extensive life-altering injuries. These include a traumatic brain injury, a crushed pelvis, eight broken ribs, and a collapsed lung.

Among the allegations made against Madeira Beach, the plaintiffs contend that the city had cause to know that the driver was incompetent and had expressed concern over his driving ability in the months that led up to the near-fatal accident. Some of the other staff indicated to superiors that they did not feel safe working with the driver. Hence, this could have been avoided simply by changing his duties or transferring him somewhere else. Among the incidents recorded by superiors, the same driver broke the mirror off the truck when he hit a tree, slammed into a pole, and blew out a tire when he hit a rock wall. After the final incident, he was pulled from driving for a week after which he returned to work. There is also evidence that he was told not to talk on his phone multiple times by other staff while he was driving, which of course, is against the law.

Sovereign immunity 

An attorney for the plaintiff will file a lawsuit against the City of Madeira Beach, but lawsuits against the government are capped at $200,000 per claim. The plaintiff has already racked up over $1 million in medical expenses alone. Her attorney can file a claims bill with the legislature which will vote on whether or not allow the woman to collect more than the statutory limit of $200,000 per incident. However, petitioning the legislature for money is always a long shot and is completely at their discretion.

If, however, the government was a private company employing this driver, you could expect that the total damages award would be into the seven figures. With trucking companies responsible for a rising number of deaths, huge verdicts have become the norm. In one case, two trucking companies lost a $1 billion verdict. Eight- and nine-figure settlements are increasingly more common.

Why? Largely because plaintiff’s attorneys are able to make claims of gross negligence against trucking companies. Any trucking company who employed a driver with multiple citations on their record, a history of getting into accidents, and a disciplinary action against them for reckless driving would be hit to the tune of $10 million or more. Most of that award would be punitive damages related to their failures to train a driver properly, retain a qualified driver, and place a dangerous vehicle into a competent driver’s hand. Yet, when the government is involved, such accountability becomes increasingly scarce.

Talk to a Tampa Truck Accident Attorney Today 

Have you been involved in an accident with a commercial truck? If so, the Tampa truck accident attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm can help file and litigate your claim recovering damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life.


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