Pals v. Weekly, No. 20-2505 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Following the death of five members of the Pals family in a car accident in a construction zone after defendant drove his semi-truck into the back of the Pals' vehicle, plaintiffs filed a wrongful death and negligence action against defendant, his employer, and two contractors involved in the highway construction project, IHC and Sawyer.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of IHC and Sawyer, concluding that, even if IHC and Sawyer owed a duty to the Pals, and even if they breached that duty (questions the district court did not decide), the negligence claim against the two contractors would necessarily fail because defendant's negligence in causing the accident was an efficient intervening cause under Nebraska law. The court also concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiffs' motion to stay.