Family of man killed by garbage truck awarded almost $14.5M

A jury has awarded more than $14 million in damages to the family of a 49-year-old southwestern Michigan man killed in an accident involving a garbage truck.

The Kalamazoo County Circuit Court jury decided Friday that Republic Services, City Star Services Inc. and William Ormerod III will pay nearly $14.5 million to the estate of Lary Blahnik.

The Plainwell man was driving his pickup truck in Cooper Township on July 19, 2011, when it was struck by a Republic garbage truck driven by Ormerod. Blahnik died the following day at a hospital.

Investigators determined Ormerod ran a stop sign before striking Blahnik’s pickup. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Ormerod was sentenced to 18 months of probation after being convicted of misdemeanor commission of a moving violation causing death.  (AP)

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