Family awarded $70 million in largest personal injury verdict in Kern County history

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A family has been awarded about $70 million in damages for a crash involving a big rig in August 2017.

The $70,578,289 verdict is the highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history, according to the law firm of Rodriguez & Associates, which represented the family.

Tomasa Cuevas was driving her children, Alex and Maritza, to shop for school clothes when a big rig ran a red light and slammed into their SUV, according to a news release from the firm.

Cuevas was knocked unconscious and suffered skull and facial fractures, as did Alex, the release said. Maritza was sitting in the back seat and “witnessed the horrific injuries to her mom and brother.”

“This was a crash that was 100 percent preventable because the truck driver should never have been on the road in the first place because he was driving on a suspended driver’s license,” the release said.

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