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$32.5Million Wrongful Death Settlement Awarded After Fatal Crash Kills Army Vet

Semi Truck Accident - Wrongful Death

Family Of Army Vet Awarded $32.5 Million Pre Trial Wrongful Death Settlement

In a significant legal victory that underscores the critical importance of vehicle safety and driver qualification, the family of a U.S. Army veteran tragically killed in a truck crash secured a $32.5 million settlement. This case highlights the devastating consequences of negligence on the road and sets a precedent for the accountability of companies in ensuring the safety of their vehicles and the competence of their drivers.

Case Overview

Christopher Crump, a 32-year-old Army veteran, lost his life in a catastrophic collision when his car became trapped under a trailer outside the Tyson Foods processing plant in Mitchell County, Georgia. The incident, which occurred in the early hours of December 7, 2021, was the result of a series of safety failures. The trailer, owned by Tyson and operated by G.R.E.L. Trucking LLC, lacked proper lighting and reflective tape, making it nearly invisible to Crump in the pre-dawn darkness. Furthermore, the driver of the truck did not possess a commercial driver’s license, a critical oversight that contributed to the tragedy.


Shakayla Crump, the widow of Christopher Crump, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tyson Foods, G.R.E.L. Trucking, and several other defendants, alleging negligence in the maintenance of the trailer and the hiring and training of the driver. The lawsuit emphasized the defendants’ failure to adhere to state and federal motor carrier safety regulations, which ultimately led to Crump’s untimely death.

The settlement, reached in early 2023, not only compensates the Crump family but also serves as a stark reminder of the responsibilities of trucking companies and their affiliates to ensure the safety of their operations.

Legal Implications and Insights

The $32.5 million settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit following the tragic crash involving Christopher Crump sheds light on several critical aspects of personal injury and wrongful death law, emphasizing the importance of corporate responsibility and regulatory compliance.

Critical Legal Elements

  1. Negligence and Safety Violations: At the heart of this case were allegations of negligence, including the failure of Tyson Foods and G.R.E.L. Trucking to maintain their vehicle in a safe condition and to ensure that the driver was properly licensed. The lack of working lights and reflective tape on the trailer, combined with the driver’s lack of a commercial license, were pivotal factors in the lawsuit.

  2. Regulatory Compliance: The case highlighted significant violations of state and federal motor carrier safety regulations. These regulations are designed to protect the public by ensuring that commercial vehicles are safe and that drivers are qualified. The failure to comply with these regulations was a key issue in establishing negligence.

  3. Impact of Settlements on Industry Standards: The substantial settlement serves as a powerful incentive for the trucking industry to prioritize safety and regulatory compliance. It underscores the potential financial and reputational consequences of failing to do so and may encourage other companies to proactively address safety concerns.

Legal Challenges and Considerations

  • Proving Negligence: Demonstrating negligence in wrongful death cases requires a detailed investigation into the circumstances of the accident, including the condition of the vehicle and the actions of the driver and company.

  • Complexity of Trucking Regulations: Navigating the complex web of state and federal regulations governing commercial trucking is a significant challenge in cases like this. Legal expertise is crucial in understanding these regulations and how they apply to the case.

If you or someone you know has been affected by a similar tragedy, involving negligence on the part of a trucking company or other commercial vehicle operators, it’s crucial to seek legal assistance. Our law firm specializes in wrongful death and personal injury cases, with a focus on holding responsible parties accountable for their actions. We understand the complexities of these cases and are committed to advocating for the rights and compensation of our clients. Contact us today to discuss your case and learn how we can help you navigate this challenging legal landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is negligence in the context of trucking accidents?

    • Negligence refers to the failure of the trucking company or driver to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others. This can include violations of safety regulations, inadequate vehicle maintenance, or employing unqualified drivers.
  2. Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

    • Immediate family members, such as spouses, children, or parents of the deceased, are typically eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for their loss and suffering.
  3. What types of damages are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit?

    • Damages can include medical expenses incurred prior to death, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and support, loss of companionship, and punitive damages intended to punish egregious negligence.
  4. How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit?

    • The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit varies by state. It’s important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within the legal timeframe.
  5. Can a wrongful death lawsuit be filed if there are criminal charges against the driver or company?

    • Yes, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that is independent of any criminal proceedings. Families can pursue civil remedies regardless of the outcome of criminal charges.
  6. What should I look for in a wrongful death attorney for a trucking accident case?

    • Look for an attorney with experience in wrongful death and trucking accident cases, a strong track record of successful settlements or verdicts, and the resources to investigate and litigate complex cases.

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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a wrongful death case alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a wrongful death due to product liability, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.