Two men injured last year after being struck by another vehicle while stopped on U.S. Highway 191 near Elfrida as cattle crossed the road are suing to be compensated for past and future damages.
According to the lawsuit, Manuel Montes and Ruben Samaniego were working for Valley Pride Arizona on May 24, 2019 when their duties required them to move from one jobsite to another nearby. Samaniego was operating a Valley Pride tractor, while Montes followed behind in a company pickup.
The men allege they had to suddenly stop their vehicles because cattle were being directed across all lanes of US 191, “causing a hazardous condition on a public highway,” the lawsuit states. The person purportedly responsible for moving the cattle is identified in the lawsuit as Monica P. McBride.
Moments later, a vehicle driven by Robert Burk crashed into the rear of the truck driven by Montes with such force that the truck struck the tractor operated by Samaniego. Burk, according the lawsuit, was traveling at a high rate of speed and ignored driving conditions by passing slower vehicles leading up to where the cattle where in the roadway.
Montes and Samaniego claim they suffered personal injuries which have caused pain, suffering, or impairment that is expected to continue in the future, the lawsuit states. They are seeking monetary damages sufficient to compensate for their injuries, as well as past and future economic losses.
It is unclear from the men’s lawsuit whether they previously pursued workers’ compensation claims against their employer, or whether Valley Pride also plans legal action in connection to the cause of the accident.
Montes and Samaniego have until mid-August to serve the civil complaint on Burk and McBride. The names of the defendants can be amended once the plaintiffs determine who McBride was working for at the time. For now the unknown parties are listed in the lawsuit as John and Jane Doe and Corporations A-Z.
Once served, each defendant will have 20 days to file an answer to the lawsuit.
Any trial would likely not occur until late 2021 due to backlogs caused by COVID-19 court closures.