Deirdre Worley, individually and as co-administrator of the estate of Richard Dale Worley Sr. and Richard Dale Worley II, individually and as co-administrator of the estate of Richard Dale Worley Sr. v. Contract Transportation Systems Co., The Sherwin-Williams Co. and Francisco Sanchez Jr., Leon County District Court, 12th
On July 25, 2010, plaintiff Richard Worley Sr., 63, a self-employed businessman, was driving a pickup truck towing a trailer loaded with hay from his ranch, heading east on Route 7, east of Centerville. While making a left turn onto County Road 204, he was involved in a collision with an eastbound tractor-trailer driven by Francisco Sanchez Jr., an employee of The Sherwin-Williams Co., and owned by Contract Transportation Systems. Worley was transported to the hospital where he was declared dead two hours later. Worley’s family members, individually and on behalf of his estate, sued Sanchez, Sherwin-Williams and Contract Transportation, claiming Sanchez failed to keep a proper lookout and failed to control his speed and struck the driver’s side door of Worley’s truck. Plaintiffs’ counsel produced a witness who testified that Worley signaled his turn well before the intersection while Sanchez passed another vehicle and then attempted to pass Worley within 100 feet of the intersection in violation of state law. Plaintiffs’ counsel argued that Sanchez failed to abide by Sherwin-Williams’ own safety guidelines. Defense counsel argued that Worley’s negligence was the proximate cause of the collision, claiming the hay in his trailer exceeded the legal width requirement and impaired his vision of vehicles behind him. Defense counsel denied the state law cited by the family applied. Defense counsel argued that the intersection was excessively dangerous because the highway’s passing zone was only 420 feet from the intersection. The defense filed for the designation of the state Department of Transportation as a responsible third party. RESULT: The jury found Sanchez 90 percent liable for the collision and Worley 10 percent liable. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $5,385,292, which reduced to $4,846,762.80.