Family of Truck Accident Victim Sues

Family of Truck Accident Victim Sues

The family of a Maine man who was killed in a trucking accident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver, the company he was driving for, and the rental company that owned the truck.

According to court documents, Zachary Gaulkin of Kennebunk was killed in March 2003 when a truck driven by Daniel Voutiritsa – who was talking to his wife on a cell phone at the time – veered into his lane hitting his station wagon. The impact knocked his vehicle across the highway into oncoming traffic where a tractor-trailer truck smashed into it.

The truck, owned by Ryder Truck Rental Inc., was missing a mirror that may have allowed the driver to see Gaulkin’s station wagon.

The suit names Voutiritsa, Ryder Truck Rental Inc., and Stericycle (the medical waste disposal company that Voutiritsa was driving for) as defendants.

Voutiritsa has admitted fault, but no criminal charges were brought. According to Jonathan Brogan, Voutiritsa’s lawyer, the facts of the case are not in dispute.

“It was definitely an accident caused by some negligence on the part of the defendant,” Brogan said. “There’s no question about that.”

Gaulkin was 37 when he died, leaving a wife and three young children behind.

The Damages

The family seeks wrongful death damages, as well as damages for loss of care and companionship (capped at $400,000 in Maine).

In most states, the family of someone who suffers a wrongful death is legally entitled to payment equal to what the victim would have earned over the course of his or her life.

Gaulkin was a senior editor of This Old House Magazine, and used to be editor of the website,, which was owned by Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.

Both sides have employed economist expert witnesses to testify this week at the trial. They are to give their opinions on what would constitute proper compensation.

Your Legal Rights

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a trucking accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation by a caring and experienced personal injury attorney who can inform you of your rights and help you plan the best course of action.

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