A Pointe Coupee Parish jury has awarded more than $16 million to the family of an 89-year-old Maringouin man killed last year in a crash involving an 18-wheeler.
Charles R. "Puddin" Glaser Sr. died two weeks after the May 2020 collision on U.S. 190 near Lottie in Pointe Coupee.
The jury late Friday found the 18-wheeler driver and Texas-based Rail 1 LLC, for whom the driver was employed and working at the time of the crash, 80% at fault. The driver made a U-turn into Glaser's path, Robert Marionneaux Jr., one of the attorneys for the Glaser's family, said Tuesday.
"Their lives are forever changed and will never be the same," Marionneaux said of the Glaser family.
The truck that turned into Glaser's path was part of a convoy of 18-wheelers that missed their turn while attempting to deliver railroad equipment, and were trying to make a U-turn, Marionneaux said. The first truck successfully made the U-turn, he said, but the second truck did not see Glaser's vehicle behind a van and turned into Glaser.
Jurors found Glaser to be 20% at fault for driving 67 mph in a 55 mph zone, Marionneaux added.
The jury award was actually $20.5 million — $10 million in survival damages, or damages suffered by Glaser, and a combined $10.5 million in wrongful death damages to his four sons and three daughters — but Glaser's 20% fault reduced the award to $16.4 million.
"The jury's verdict reflected the closeness of the Glaser family and the substantial loss caused by their father's death," said lawyers Don Cazayoux and Lane Ewing, who also represented the family. "Mr. Glaser's serious injuries and suffering, as well as the family's, was compounded by COVID and the necessary restrictions that prevented the family from being with Mr. Glaser during his final weeks."
The verdict is expected to be appealed.
Glaser was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, agriculture farmer, and former owner and operator of Midway Grocery and C.R. Glaser Trucking Co. in Maringouin.
Glaser drove 18-wheelers until he was 83 years old, Marionneaux said.