The Washington Post

UPS ordered to pay family hit by truck


A jury found UPS Inc. must pay a Missouri family

$75 million, after a company driver with a known history of drug abuse collided with a pregnant woman’s car, causing her baby to be born with permanent brain damage.

In May 2018, Steven Ray Miller was driving a UPS truck and ran a red light, hitting a car driven by Jodi Pannell, who was 13 weeks pregnant, according to trial testimony.

Pannell sought emergency medical treatment and began physical therapy. Her son was born in October 2018 with hypotonia, which is low muscle tone, and was later found to have a permanent brain condition called schizencep­haly, the Kansas City Star reported.

A Clay County jury on Monday found that UPS should pay the family $65 million in damages and $10.3 million in interest.

Miller, 63, testified that he was speeding before the collision. He also said the company was aware that he had been charged with possession of crack cocaine before he was hired in 2010.

Miller also testified the company knew he had gone into a drug rehabilita­tion program after using crack cocaine in February 2018. He completed the program and returned to his job as a driver on May 3, five days before the crash. The company did not test him for drugs after the crash, according to testimony.

“We have apologized to the family and taken full responsibi­lity for this unfortunat­e incident,” UPS spokesman Matthew O’connor wrote.

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