A Dallas County jury on Wednesday absolved an affiliate of Dallas-based Sunoco of liability in a $2 million trucking accident claim from a 2018 wreck in Hearne, Texas.
In an 11-1 verdict, the jury found that no negligence by plaintiff Shamell Roberson nor defendant truck driver Robert Johnson proximately caused the accident, which occurred in February 2018 during icy and foggy conditions and featured a cow in the middle of the road, according to court documents.
The jury also refused to award any damages to Roberson and her husband, Joel Roberson, including compensation the plaintiffs sought for pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement and more.
According to court documents, Roberson was on her way to work US Highway 190/Highway 6 when Johnson’s truck hit her. Johnson, employed by Sunoco, was near the end of his workday and was on his way to pick up his last load.
“Although this was an unfortunate accident for everyone involved, we are pleased that our clients were completely vindicated by the jury’s decision,” said Norton Rose Fulbright partner John Herring, Sunoco’s lead lawyer. “We are grateful for our clients’ trust and confidence in us and proud of the contributions by everyone on the trial team.”
Lawyers for the plaintiffs could not be reached for comment.
The jury reached its verdict Wednesday morning after a six-day trial featuring testimony by 14 witnesses and two hours’ deliberation.
The trial was in Dallas County District Judge Kristina Williams’s courtroom.
In addition to Herring, the Dallas-based Norton Rose Fulbright team representing Sunoco Partners Marketing and Terminals included associates Joey Piorkowski and Lara Kakish. The plaintiff’s trial team was led by Tim Newsom and John Burkhead of the Law Offices of Frank L. Branson.