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Browne Greene: Greene and Balaban Respond to $3.5 Million Verdict Against Shipping Company For Injured Trucker

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Today a jury found shipping company, Grain Millers of Eugene, OR liable for $3.5 Million in damages to compensate for the injuries suffered by Los Angeles truck driver, Rigoberto Gutierrez.

The civil trial stemmed from a tragic load shift accident that happened in Northern California in 2009. Gutierrez was catastrophically injured when 44-thousand pounds of flour was improperly loaded and poorly secured inside the trailer of his semi truck.

While navigating a windy pass outside Redding, Gutierrez lost control and had to ditch his truck by jumping out of the cab before it careened off a cliff. He suffered debilitating orthopedic injuries that have cost Mr. Gutierrez his business and trucking career.

"Grain Millers insisted they didn't need to tie down the load. The Plaintiff said they did need to do so as a failsafe approach to keep something like this from happening," said Gutierrez' co-lead attorney, Browne Greene of the Santa Monica law firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler. "This case shows this negligent behavior is dangerous for drivers and bad for business."

Gutierrez' attorneys successfully argued Grain Millers allowed an unsupervised, inexperienced employee to negligently load the flour. "Management is well aware of the dangers of load shift, yet the company has no procedures in place to ensure the trucks they load are road safe," said co-lead counsel, Daniel Balaban.

Load shift is the number one cause of singular trucking accidents. There are federal laws on the books intended to regulate loading cargo but distribution centers and trucking companies are frequently lax about these laws and have weak supervision and oversight.

Gutierrez' attorneys include Browne Greene and Ivan Puchalt with the Santa Monica law firm Greene Broillet & Wheeler, Daniel Balaban and Andy Spielberger with the Brentwood firm Balaban and Spielberger.

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