In August of 2009, during what should have been my honeymoon period, my husband and I were involved in a serious trucking incident. After delivering a load and heading to a truck stop, our 2010 Peterbilt Condo suddenly burst into flames. I'm not familiar with trucks nor am I familiar with the names of their parts, but my husband tells me that the cause of the fire was in the Ardhead. Something to do with the regeneration system.
This particular model was equipped with a Caterpillar engine. After much research we had come to discover that this particular Caterpillar engine has had issues with catching fire before and was actually recalled in 2007 for this very reason.
So why might you ask am I filing a report?
As most people know, when you pull off to the side of a highway, thethe shoulder tends to have a downward slope. When you're very hastily trying to exit a burning tractor/trailer that is already quite tall, that slope becomes extremely tall. During my exit attempt of the truck, I missed the bottom step of the truck and wound up falling the equivalent of 4-5 feet flat-footed. This caused me to shatter my left Tibial Plateau (where your tibia and fibia meet causing the plate on which your knee rests).
I spent 2 weeks in a hospital in Spokane Washington and endured 2 separate surgeries to repair the damage. One of those weeks was spent with external fixators drilled into my skin and bones. I then spent the next 5 months in a hospital bed, unable to take care of myself nor my 8 year old daughter (then 6).
I am 34 and have been permanently disabled and disfigured because of a company's drive for the almighty dollar.
I immediately retained an attorney and began trying to seek some monetary relief from Peterbilt, Caterpillar, and Paccar to help me with my $200,000+ medical costs.
This began my whirlwind relationship with them.
My attorney sent out letters of intent to all three of these entities and received a letter from each pointing blame at each other. After 6 months of runaround my attorney dropped me as a client with the reason " We don't feel your case is worth our time nor effort." I immediately retained a new attorney and was reassured that they would fight tooth and nail to get me the compensation I deserve. After a year of Peterbilt stonewalling them, they sent me a letter stating "We don't feel you case is worth our time nor effort."
I have less than a year left to file a case and there isn't an attorney willing to go after such a big company. I have been taken to collections and had my credit ruined and can barely walk because Peterbilt refuses to own up to their responsibilities.
If Peterbilt and Caterpillar did nothing wrong then why do I have internal memos between them, telling one another how to cover this up (thanks to a very nice shop manager that was fired as part of their coverup)? Caterpillar knew there was an issue with this particular make and model of engine, hence the recall. Peterbilt was aware of the recall and STILL placed it in their equipment.
They have high powered scam artists to help them cover up their shortcomings, but who is there for the working class people they rip off and hurt?
If anyone can offer some insight or help or has had the same troubles with these companies, please please respond.