Family of Texas Woman Killed in Truck Crash Settles Lawsuit for $16 Million

FORT WORTH, Texas – A Cleburne, Texas family has settled a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of an 18-wheel truck crash against Pioneer Drilling Co. (Amex:PDC), PDC MGMT Co., Pioneer Drilling Services, Ltd. and Daniel Armstrong.  The family was represented by John David Hart of the Law Offices of John David Hart in Fort Worth, Texas and Dan Boulware and John MacLean of MacLean & Boulware in Cleburne, Texas.

Pioneer Drilling Co. settled the lawsuit on July 9, 2009, after three days of trial in Johnson County before the Honorable William Bosworth.  Plaintiffs had not yet rested their case when the $16 million settlement was reached.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the husband, children and parents of Rhonda Henson.  On September 11, 2008, oil field equipment fell off a tractor-trailer owned and operated by Pioneer Drilling Services, Ltd., a division of Pioneer Drilling Co., on FM 157 in North Texas, crushing Mrs. Henson’s vehicle and causing her death.

According to the Venus Police Department’s report, the driver of the semi-truck, 21-year old Daniel Armstrong, failed to control his speed and the truck’s load was not properly secured.  Plaintiffs’ investigation and sworn testimony revealed that Armstrong was not legally qualified to drive the Pioneer Drilling Co. truck on the day of the accident and that documents in his driver qualification files were fabricated, falsified and backdated by Pioneer employees after the accident.

“We’re pleased to be able to resolve this for Rhonda Henson’s family,” said John David Hart, attorney for the family of Mrs. Henson.  “We believe it was a just outcome within our civil court system and a fair settlement given the facts of the case.  It wasn’t about money for the Henson family.  This lawsuit was about accountability and responsibility.”

“This is a terrible loss for the Henson family,” said Hart.  “Every week seems to bring news of another terrible truck crash.  But we believe that this settlement will at least make companies more aware of the need for good safety and hiring practices and hopefully prevent another needless tragedy.”

More information is available at

The Law Offices of John David Hart is a group of experienced and dedicated legal professionals working to protect the rights of people injured by the acts of others.  Across the country, the firm represents people in cases of wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, truck and automobile accidents, workplace injuries and other matters.

For more information on this tractor-trailer wrongful death lawsuit, please contact Julie Petersen at 817-870-2102.

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