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$32M verdict against company whose truck driver killed nurse

A Kentucky jury has returned a $32 million verdict for the estate of a beloved hospice nurse who was killed when a dump truck driver operating under the influence crossed the center line and struck her head on.

The verdict, returned Thursday in Anderson County against the driver and his employer, included $10 million in punitive damages.

Louisville attorney Steve Romines said evidence showed that Atlas Excavating put the driver, Eric D. Jenkins, on the road without giving him a pre-employment drug screen, as required under federal law.

Tests after the crash on Sept. 7, 2012, showed he had marijuana in his bloodstream. He was charged with murder and DUI and pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

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