A Texas-based trucking company has filed for bankruptcy liquidation four days before a wrongful death civil trial filed by the family of one of its former drivers who drowned in 2016 was slated to start in El Paso County, Texas. 

J.J. & Sons Logistics, doing business as JJ Transport, of Clint, Texas, filed its petition Monday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas. 

In its Chapter 7 petition, JJ Transport listed its assets as up to $500,000 and liabilities as between $100 million and $500 million. The shuttered company states that it has up to 49 creditors and maintains that funds will be available for unsecured creditors once it pays administrative fees.

JJ Transport once had 19 drivers and 18 power units prior to filing for bankruptcy. In its bare-bones petition, the company listed Fleetone Factoring LLC of Antioch, Tennessee; Auxillior Capital Partners of Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania; and Wells Fargo Bank of Des Moines, Iowa, as creditors, although no amounts were given. 

Its trucks had been inspected 27 times and two had been placed out of service in a 24-month period, resulting in a 7.4% out-of-service rate. This is lower than the industry’s national average of around 22.3%, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website.

JJ Transport’s drivers had been inspected 53 times over the same 24-month period and one driver was placed out of service, resulting in a 1.9% out-of-service rate. This is lower than the national average of around 6.7%, according to FMCSA data. In the past two years, the company’s trucks had been involved in five crashes, including two injuries and three towaways.

The bankruptcy petition lists Juan Jose Murillo as president of JJ Transport. His attorney, Carlos Miranda, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment as of publication. 

The petition also lists the estate of Pedro Rascon Morales as a creditor in its bankruptcy petition.

Wrongful death lawsuit

According to court documents, Morales, 61, drowned in his tractor-trailer on April 18, 2016, in Harris County, Texas, while employed by Murillo and his wife, Esmeralda Murillo, who worked as the company’s operations manager. 

On April 17, 2016, Morales was dispatched to deliver a load from El Paso County to Harris County, which was experiencing record flooding. Court documents allege that hours before his death, Morales checked in with Esmeralda Murrillo, who “failed to discontinue [Morales’] trip.

Morales drove his tractor-trailer into an overpass locally known as “The Pit,” where water quickly began to submerge his vehicle. Despite attempts by good Samaritans to save Morales as water rose to depths of over 20 feet, he became trapped and drowned in his cab, according to court records.

A special setting jury trial was slated to start Friday in El Paso County, however, it was canceled after the bankruptcy petition was filed in federal court. 

The wrongful death lawsuit, which sought damages of more than $1 million, was filed in December 2017 by Morales’ wife, Maria Socorro Morales; his son, Elias Morales; and his daughter, Dora Hunnicutt. A trial date in the case has been rescheduled multiple times prior to JJ Transport’s bankruptcy filing.

A creditor’s meeting is scheduled for Feb. 26. 

Do you have a news tip to share? Send me an email or message me @cage_writer on X, formerly known as Twitter. Your name will not be used without your permission.

Read more articles here:

Ex-Slync CEO Chris Kirchner guilty of wire fraud, money laundering

Tech battle: Samsara sues Motive Technologies for patent infringement, false advertising

Click for more articles by Clarissa Hawes. 

The post Texas trucking company files for bankruptcy days before wrongful death trial appeared first on FreightWaves.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply