New Mexico Jury Awards $5.5 Million Verdict in Wrongful Death Case

A jury in Albuquerque, New Mexico awarded a $5.5 million verdict last week to the family of a man who was killed by a FedEx truck driver in 2011. The lawsuit was against both the truck driver and FedEx.

The man – Martin Leon – died on Nov. 30, 2011, leaving behind a wife and three children.


The fatal wreck occurred at night on I-40 in Grants NM. The driver, Federico Martinez Leandro, rear ended another big rig at 68 MPH. Martin Leon was sleeping in the sleeper compartment in the FedEx truck. The sleeper compartment was demolished in the wreck.

At the scene of the wreck, Leandro admitted that he had fallen asleep. He was hauling two trailers when he suddenly changed from the left to right and then rear ended the other truck.

The lawsuit claimed that there was poor driver safety training provided by FedEx, and that the driver and the company were negligent.

The family’s attorney stated that the death has had a terrible effect on his daughter, who was only 10 when he died.

It is such a tragedy that the truck driver’s failure to get proper rest led to this catastrophe. Our Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina truck accident attorneys often represent the devastated families of innocent people who were killed by a negligent truck driver.

There is no higher obligation for all commercial truck drivers than to drive safely. Our Virginia commercial driver’s manual states that it is essential for all truck drivers to do the following regarding rest:

  • Get enough rest after your shift ends to ensure that you get 7-8 hours of sleep. After you sleep and have been up for 8 hours, you should take a nap so you are ready if you are called in to work. Sleep is required to overcome fatigue.
  • Schedule trips safely. Schedule your trips when you are usually awake. But you have to be ready to drive at night if needed.
  • Take a break every two or three hours. Get out of the cab and walk around to do a safety check. This can relieve fatigue.

When we represent a family whose loved one has been killed or injured by a negligent truck drive who fell asleep behind the wheel, we try our best to obtain the largest settlement possible.