Cleveland, OH – The family members of a Cleveland (Ohio) woman who was killed when a semi-trailer rear-ended her car on Interstate highway 71 (I-71) in February 2015 are suing the trucking firm whose driver allegedly caused the crash.
The family of Sandra Maddamma has filed a lawsuit against the following parties: Pennsylvania firm Storage and Transfer; Penske Truck Leasing Company which was providing maintenance on the semi-truck; and truck driver Richard Radigan who allegedly caused the fatal crash.
The lawsuit says Radigan was negligent in causing the crash as he failed to stop the truck in time for preventing a crash. As a result, the truck crashed into the Nissan Cube driven by Sandra Maddamma on a stretch of the I-71 in Middleburg Height, the suit claims. Maddamma, who was wearing the seatbelt, died from severe injuries she sustained in the accident, the lawsuit states. She was 50 years old, according to the suit. Though Maddamma was taken immediately to the SW General Health Centre following the accident, doctors were unable to save her life as the injuries were so severe, according to the state hwy patrol. Truck driver Radigan wasn’t injured in the crash. Radigan, a North Ridgeville resident, is 63 years old.
Due to the enormous weight and huge size of the vehicle, accidents involving trucks often cause fatalities or catastrophic injuries to the others involved in the crash.
Defendant Area Storage and Transfer was the employer of truck driver Radigan, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division. Apart from suing the defendants for negligence, the suit also contains a wrongful death claim. The family decided to file the suit in a federal court because they think the claim is worth in excess of $75,000. Area Storage and Transfer is blamed for allowing a person like Radigan, who allegedly wasn’t competent to operate a truck, to drive. Additionally, the suit says the defendant companies interfered with evidence and destroyed it on the truck so that the problems won’t be detected when the truck is inspected.
In a recent statement, Penske Truck Leasing expressed its condolences to the family of Maddamma. However, the company said it wouldn’t elaborate as the suit is pending.
A spokesperson with the Area Storage and Transfer didn’t immediately return calls and messages seeking comment.
The case will be presided over by United States District Court Judge Hon. James Gwin.