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Tanker truck crash suit going to jury

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published April 25. 2013 4:00PM   Updated April 26. 2013 12:02AM

Lawyers delivered closing arguments Thursday in Hartford Superior Court in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit stemming from the fatal crash on Interstate 95 on Nov. 2, 2007.

Judge Kevin J. Dubay instructed jurors on the pertinent laws Thursday afternoon, and the panel is expected to begin deliberations this morning.

Dugas v. Northeast Carriers, which involves multiple parties, is being heard on the complex litigation docket.

A northbound tanker truck carrying some 7,000 gallons of heating fuel careened out of control and jumped across the highway near the intersection of Interstates 95 and 395 in East Lyme, ramming into a southbound tractor-trailer and causing a pileup.

Three crash survivors and the estates of Lu-Ann Dugas of East Lyme and Fred Held of Milford have brought recklessness, negligence and wrongful death claims against Northeast Carriers, the Brooklyn-based owner of the tanker truck. A sixth plaintiff is the company that owned the truck James J. Clark was driving. South Bay Trucking and the Lancer Insurance Co. are seeking $50,000 for damages to the truck.

Testimony began April 9 with a unified opening statement and presentation. Attorneys for each plaintiff then made presentations about their client’s individual damages.

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