Lawsuit Filed for Death of Mother and Twin Daughters

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February 11, 2021 |

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 2021) – A lawsuit was filed today in the Marion County Superior Court against several defendants allegedly responsible for the deaths of Alanna Koons and her two 18-month-old twin daughters Ruby and June Koons on July 14, 2019.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Joey Koons, the husband of Alanna and father of Ruby and June, by attorneys William E. Winingham and Jonathon B. Noyes of the Wilson Kehoe Winingham law firm in Indianapolis.  The driver of the truck that struck Mrs. Koons’ vehicle, Bruce Pollard, was not named in the lawsuit.  It is announced today that the case against Mr. Pollard and truck owner Weston Trucking Company has been settled during mediation, for a confidential amount of money.

The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants, Transport Leasing/Contract, Inc. (TLC) and HireRight, LLC, had contractually assumed responsibility for properly vetting the driver, Bruce Pollard, and making sure he was a reasonably competent driver before recommending him to Weston for employment.  The lawsuit further alleges that TLC negligently recommended Pollard for employment despite his past history of several collisions that were his fault, complaints of unsafe driving, termination for unsafe driving by a previous employer, pleading guilty to making a false statement with the intent to mislead a state official concerning his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and having a psychiatric history of mental illness.

The lawsuit further alleges that Mr. Pollard’s truck, a 2015 International Prostar, should have been equipped with collision avoidance safety systems that would have avoided or minimized the collision.  The lawsuit contends that collision avoidance technology has been available for decades. One system called forward collision warning detects stopped or slowing vehicles ahead and audibly warns the truck driver so they can stop in time and avoid a rear-end collision.  Another system called automatic emergency braking automatically applies emergency braking if necessary to stop the truck and avoid a collision.  The Defendant, Navistar, Inc., which manufactured and designed Mr. Pollard’s 2015 International Prostar, made forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems standard features in 2016, just one year after the manufacture and sale of the truck that caused the crash involving Alanna, June, and Ruby Koons.

The lawsuit also names the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and several contractors as defendants, alleging that they negligently designed and operated the construction zone in which the collision occurred.  The lawsuit contends that Interstate 465, on which the crash occurred, was narrowed from four lanes of travel to only one lane, creating a lengthy, several-mile-long traffic backup. This violated INDOT policy and created unnecessary danger to persons in the backup such as Alanna, June, and Ruby Koons.  In addition, it is contended that motorists such as Mrs. Koons should have been warned of the upcoming lengthy delay on Interstate 465 so they could choose an alternative route.

Answers to anticipated questions:

How much money is being sought?

The lawsuit asks for fair and reasonable compensation for the loss of love and affection suffered by Mr. Koons due to the deaths of his wife and children.  No specific amount is requested, as such is not allowed under Indiana law.

Why were Mr. Pollard and Weston Trucking not sued?

They settled with Mr. Koons at a mediation session within the last few months for a confidential amount of money.

What happens next?

Each of the defendants will file an Answer to the Complaint, and the judge will set a schedule for moving the case through the court system.

It is requested that Mr. Koons not be contacted with further questions.  He has, and will remain as private as possible concerning the crash and the tragic consequences to him and his family.  Any further questions can be directed to Eric Strickler at Wilson Kehoe Winingham LLC at 317-920-6400 or estrickler@wkw.com.

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