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The Arizona Supreme Court has reversed a ruling that allowed the family of a victim of a fatal car crash to pursue punitive damages against a trucking company, reasserting its holding in a 1986 decision that negligent acts alone are not sufficient to tack on extra damages. The case is Swift Transp. Co. v. CarmanNo. CV-20-0119-PR, 2022 Ariz. LEXIS 243 (Aug. 23, 2022).

The case stems from a car accident that occurred one night in January 2018 when Brian Vanderhoff, a driver for Swift Transportation, was driving an empty tractor-trailer to Phoenix on a rainy night when his truck hydroplaned and jackknifed. Another truck, attempting to avoid Vanderhoff’s truck, collided with two other vehicles, killing two people and injuring three.

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