$11 Million Settlement Reached in Wrongful Death Case on Behalf of Grieving Family
The families of two men killed in a 2015 crash near Odessa,Texas, have reached an $11 million settlement with the company that employed the driverinvolved in the crash, attorney Jamie Moncus of Hare, Wynn, Newell and Newton announced today.
The families of John Reynolds of Vicksburg, Mississippi., and Tommy Rivers
of Fort Worth,
Texas, sued Corpus Christi-based Sage Enviro Tech, LTD, and its employee, Hector Botello Jr., in Nueces County Court earlier this year. Sage Enviro Tech was accused of negligently allowing Botello, who had a history of mental illness and alcohol abuse, to drive for the company.
Botello was driving for Sage Enviro Tech when his Dodge Ram pickup crossed
the median of
Interstate 20 in Odessa and collided head-on with the pickup carrying Reynolds and Rivers.
Botello suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash. Reynolds and Rivers died at the
scene. They were both returning from a “battle of the bands” event organized by the men in
El Paso, which they started as a fundraiser to benefit historically black
the United States.
Although Botello was not charged with any violations or crimes, the police incident report listed his “long-term alcoholism” and “anxiety condition” as contributing factors in the crash.
The lawsuit accused Sage Enviro Tech of recklessly failing to consider
Botello’s history when
entrusting him to drive a vehicle for the company. Botello had a DWI conviction in California
in 2009. Sage was alleged to have known that Botello had a history of alcoholism and mental illness when he was hired as a driver.
“A simple background check could have prevented such a tragedy,”
said Jamie Moncus of
Hare, Wynn, Newell and Newton. “We recently marked the third Christmas that the families of John Reynolds and Tommy Rivers were without their husbands and fathers, all because of a
company’s failure to be careful in hiring drivers. It is our hope that this settlement provides
needed support to families whose loved ones were taken from them far too soon.”
The lawsuit was filed by Reynolds’ widow Krystle Reynolds, his parents,
James and Clara
Reynolds, and Rivers’ daughter, Kelsey Rivers, as well as the estates of the two men on behalf of Reynolds’ two children and Rivers’ child.
Hare, Wynn, Newell and Newton attorney Jamie Moncus and Simpson and Simpson attorneys
Michael Simpson and Kim Jones represented the Reynolds and Rivers families.