$11 Million Settlement in Truck Crash That Killed Young Women
A 2006 crash on an Indiana highway killed five students from Taylor University. One of those who died was Laurel Erb, a 20-year-old St. Charles native who attended the school in Upland, Ind.
Laura rode in a van with others that night when a semi-trailer crossed over the center line, causing a head-on collision described by some emergency personnel as one of the worst crashes they had ever seen. It was soon learned that the semi driver, Robert Spencer, had fallen asleep at the wheel - in part because he had failed to take required rest breaks while on the road.
Spencer eventually received a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to several counts of reckless homicide and criminal recklessness.
The truck driver and his employer were insured by a policy that had liability limits of two million dollars. The van that was transporting Laurel and her fellow students was owned by Taylor University and insured by Indiana Insurance Company.
Attorneys Brown and Flowers filed suit against Indiana Insurance to compel them to pay damages pursuant to the Underinsured Motorist Provision of its policy. The court agreed that Indiana's insurance did apply, and a global settlement of over 11 million dollars was reached on behalf of all five victims.