Sunday, February 28, 2016

Leon Family Satisfied With FedEx Wrongful Death Jury Verdict of $5.5 Million

While no amount of money could ever compensate Elia Leon and her three children for the wrongful death of her husband and father, she was satisfied with the FedEx wrongful death jury verdict of $5.5 million.  An Albuquerque Federal Court jury returned the multi-million dollar verdict against FedEx on Friday afternoon.

"I hope that FedEx changes its practices and begins a truck driver safety program so that other families won't suffer personal injuries and wrongful death from FedEx drivers," said Elia Leon.  "The loss to our family when Martin was killed by the FedEx truck driver changed our lives forever."

Martin Leon was killed on November 30, 2011 while he was a passenger in the FedEx tractor-trailer on Interstate 40 near Grants, NM.  He was in the sleeper compartment of a FedEx semi truck when his co-driver Fernando Martinez-Leandro rear-ended a slower moving  semi truck operated by Puckett Transportation.  Martinez-Leandro told investigating officers that he had fallen asleep before rear-ending the Puckett truck.

Martin Leon was a 48 year old  resident of Los Angeles, CA. In addition to his wife Elia, he left three children, Juanita, Adrian and Luis.

Following the death of Martin, Elia Leon hired Mark Caruso with Caruso Law Offices to represent her in a wrongful death claim against FedEx and Puckett Transportation. The lawsuit was filed by Caruso in US District Court in New Mexico and assigned to Federal Court Judge James Browning.

Elia Leon ultimately settled her claim against Puckett Transportation and its driver, but the lawsuit against FedEx and its driver was heard by the Albuquerque jury and Judge Browning last week.   The 5 day jury trial resulted in a jury awarding $5.5 million to the Leon family.

The family argued negligence and negligence per se statutory violations in the operation of the FedEx semi truck by Martinez-Leandro.  The family also argued that FedEx  failed to provide driver safety training to Martinez-Leandro and other FedEx  drivers.

Evidence  at trial proved that the trucking industry standard is for trucking companies to provide regular on-the-road truck driver safety training and that such regular truck driver safety training results in less crashes and less injury and death to the public.

FedEx attorneys argued that neither FedEx or its driver were negligent in the operation of the semi truck.    FedEx attorneys also argued that FedEx did not need to provide regular truck driver safety training to Martinez-Leandro or other FedEx drivers.

FedEx was represented by the Rodey Law Firm from Albuquerque and FedEx national counsel from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   Mark Caruso with Caruso Law Offices and Paul Barber represented the Leon family.

For additional information contact Mark Caruso at  (505) 883-5000  or   or see the website at   or

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Albuquerque Jury Awards Family $5.5 Million in FedEx Wrongful Death Case

By: Mark Caruso, Albuquerque Accident Attorney

An Albuquerque Federal Court jury awarded $5.5 million on Friday afternoon to the family of Martin Leon who was killed by the driver of a FedEx tractor-trailer.

Martin Leon, 48, of Los Angeles, CA was killed on November 30, 2011 leaving his wife and three children. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by his widow, Elia Leon. The lawsuit sought personal injuries and wrongful death against FedEx and its driver.

The fatal crash happened at 11:00pm on Interstate 40 near Grants, New Mexico.  Fed Ex driver Federico Martinez-Leandro rear-ended another slower moving tractor-trailer at about 68 mph.  Martin Leon was in the sleeper compartment of the FedEx trailer. The sleeper compartment was completely demolished.

At the scene of the horrific crash the FedEx driver told officers that he had fallen asleep.  He was pulling two trailers when he suddenly changed lanes from the left lane to the right lane and collided with the rear of another tractor-trailer.

The Leon family claimed that no driver safety training was provided to its semi truck driver. The family also claimed that the FedEx driver and FedEx  itself were negligent in the operation of the semi truck.

"We asked the jury to send a strong message to FedEx that it must begin over-the-road safety training of its semi truck drivers.  FedEx officials admitted at trail that it provided no over-the-road driver safety training," said Leon's attorney Mark Caruso.

"The Leon family continues to struggle with the death of their father and husband," said attorney Caruso.  "The death has really affected his 14 year old daughter Juanita who was only 10 at the time of he father's death."

The 5 day Albuquerque jury trial was held before US District Judge James Browning.  The family had already settled their case with the trucking company responsible for the slower moving tractor-trailer. 

The Leon family was represented by Albuquerque trial attorney Mark Caruso, who was also involved in last year's Santa Fe lawsuit that resulted in a $16.5 million jury verdict against FedEx.  In that case, the FedEx tractor-trailer rear-ended a passenger vehicle.