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$925K Settlement for Woman Left Scarred in Dump Truck Crash

The truck driver traveled across the median and hit the plaintiff head-on, landing on top of her car. (Photo courtesy Robert Allard.)

National Trial Lawyers member Robert Allard and his associate Lauren Cerri from the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard secured a $925,000 settlement for a California woman. She was nearly crushed to death by a dump truck that hit her head-on and left her with severe scars on her face and hands.

Wendy Ng, 25, was on her way to work at 5:15 AM to begin her second day of training at Organic Spices in Fremont on August 20, 2013. The truck driver, Sukhdip Singh, was proceeding east on Automall Parkway on his way back to the Guru company, a granite yard in Redwood City.

Suddenly he steered to the right towards the curb, impacted the curb, went over the sidewalk, and struck a "No Stopping Anytime" sign. He then went across the sidewalk towards the embankment and struck several trees, one of the tree stumps lodging underneath the chassis of his vehicle. He continued down the embankment across the sidewalk, back down onto the eastbound lanes, dragging the stump across the lanes. He then impacted the center median, went across it, entered the westbound lane of travel and struck Wendy Ng's vehicle in her lane, of travel, landing on top of her car.

The last thing she remembers was looking straight ahead and the next thing she knew her airbag had deployed, there was wreckage, she was being told not to move, and emergency personnel were removing her from the vehicle in which she was trapped.

She suffered severe neck injuries including a C2 fracture along with injuries to her face and hands that left severe scarring.

Proving liability

Defendants Sukhdip Singh and Guru Trans Inc. admitted liability for causing the collision but contested Wendy's injuries. "We believe that facial scarring and permanent neurological deficits in Wendy's face as worked up by plaintiff's retained experts made the difference," said attorney Allard.

The truck driver had been driving all night and was less than 15 minutes away from exceeding the 10 hour commercial vehicle driving limitation when the accident occurred. The driver denied falling asleep and did not claim any medical or mechanical condition that could have contributed to the collision leading.

Attorney Allard argued that it was highly likely that the driver was exhausted from nearly 10 hours of working and driving without sleep. The truck driver was also on a roadway where vehicles of the dump truck weight are prohibited.

Wendy has pain at the sides of her rib cage, which gets worse with activity. She cannot stand for eight hours without worsening her rib cage and neck pain. She takes Tizanidine as needed at bedtime for muscle spasms. She also continued to experience right knee pain. She has numbness in her left leg after sitting in the car for 1-2 hours, pain with yawning on the right side of her neck, and back pain while sleeping. Wendy continues to treat to this date with Kaiser for her various ailments and has recently begun chiropractic treatment as well in an attempt to relieve her discomfort.

"Wendy is not the same person she was," Allard said. "She gets emotional very easily and oftentimes feels sad and depressed. She cries about her scars, the numbness to her knee and face and the pain, stiffness and discomfort that will not go away. She is extremely nervous about participating in activities with her family and friends for fear that she will reinjure herself. Her unhappiness affects her relationships. She is not excited about the future the way she once was because she is uncertain of the effects that her injuries will have on her body as she ages. In short, Wendy's life has been forever changed."

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