Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit Results in Large Settlement, from the Panola Watchman

Trendsetter Construction and its employee, Nathan Richardson, have agreed to pay $10,500,000.00 to settle a wrongful death case in Upshur County.

The case arises from a Mesquite woman’s death on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2012 from a three-vehicle wreck that occurred between Beckville and Carthage. Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Barksdale, of Mesquite, were traveling northbound on Hwy 149 in separate vehicles when the accident occurred.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety officials, a Trendsetter Construction commercial truck pulling a gooseneck trailer with a skid steer front end loader, crossed the carline of the highway, striking the oncoming truck and trailer driven by Mr. Barksdale, and then continued down the highway where it violently collided with a trailing Ford Expedition driven by Mary Barksdale. The impact was so severe that the Trendsetter gooseneck trailer detached from the commercial truck and uncontrollably rolled down the highway into oncoming traffic, nearly causing a collision with another motorist. Mr. Barksdale sustained minor injuries, but his wife sustained fatal head injuries.

Nathan Richardson, of Diana, Texas, was the driver of the Trendsetter Construction commercial truck that was pulling the gooseneck trailer. He was taken to ETMC Carthage for blood and urine test, which revealed he had ingested Xanax, Valium, and marijuana prior to the wrecks. Intoxicated manslaughter charges have been filed and are pending in Panola County against Mr. Richardson.

Bob Barksdale, the surviving spouse of Mary Barksdale, as well as Casey and Beau Barksdale and Myra Courson, the sons and mother of Mary Barksdale, brought a wrongful death action against Trendsetter Construction and its employee, Mr. Richardson in Upshur County District Court. The Barksdale family claimed that Trendsetter Construction was grossly negligent for entrusting the commercial vehicle to Mr. Richardson and that Mr. Richardson in the course and scope of his employment was grossly negligent in causing the death of Mrs. Barksdale. Trendsetter Construction and Nathan Richardson denied any responsibility for the collisions or death of Mrs. Barksdale. The case was settled on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 for $10,500,000.00.