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Santa Fe, New Mexico— A Santa Fe jury has awarded $58.5 million to the family of Kevin Udy, a Carlsbad, N.M., man killed three years ago when his pickup truck was cut off by a tanker truck.
Salt Lake City attorneys George Waddoups and Brad DeBry, from Robert J. DeBry and Associates, partnered with Santa Fe attorney Bill Robbins to represent the family. The award is the largest in New Mexico State history, according to the New Mexico State Trial Lawyers Association. The jury found the three companies that operated the tanker truck responsible for failing to follow standard safety procedures that could have prevented the accident.
The award, given to Udy’s wife, Susan, and his children comprised $11.5 million in actual damages and $47 million in punitive damages. Susan Udy now lives in Salt Lake City.
“We believe the jury sent a clear message that the companies who choose not to follow safety rules, and who value profits over human life, will be held accountable for the harm that they cause,” Brad DeBry said. “On behalf of the family, we hope that this message will save lives so that others will not have to experience the tremendous loss that the Udy family has suffered and continues to suffer.”
The jury released this statement following the verdict: “Our hope is that our judgment will clearly communicate that we expect a much higher standard of safety and training in the trucking industry. To the family, we understand that there is no way to put a monetary value on a human life. We trust that Kevin’s children will remember their father, will continue to live their lives in a manner that will honor his memory.”
Udy is buried in Vernal, Utah.