Donato, Minx, Brown & Pool, P.C. (Houston, TX) is pleased to announce that on February 24, 2011, James Sunosky and Ronald Hornback received a 10-1 defense verdict after a 3-day trial in a case involving road damage allegedly caused during a move of heavy oil rig equipment.
In 2007, Plaintiff Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) issued 26 special oversized/overweight hauling permits to T.K. Stanley, a Mississippi-based transportation company specializing in moving heavy oil rig equipment, allowing the company to haul loads of up to 176,000 pounds on FM 1736 in Waller County, Texas. The permits, which included terms that made T.K. Stanley strictly liable for any road damage, were used between April 30, 2007 and May 9, 2007. Plaintiff claimed T.K. Stanley's hauls on May 3, 2007 caused seven base failures on the road in question. Plaintiff argued a road inspection on May 2, 2007 found no damage, and that T.K. Stanley was the only company hauling oversized/overweight loads on the road at the time the damage occurred. T.K. Stanley denied it was liable for the damage and argued the base failures were the result of general traffic, weather, and normal wear and tear. The jury (10-1) returned a verdict within 42 minutes. The case is styled Cause No. 09-03-19733; Texas Department of Transportation v. T.K. Stanley, Inc.; In the 506th District Court of Waller County, Texas.