PAINTSVILLE - Kirk Law Firm, with offices throughout eastern Kentucky and
Lexington, says it declines to represent insurance companies, choosing
instead to represent individuals.
Four months ago, the Kirk Firm received a $27 million judgment against a coal company in a Knott County case for Roberta Jent for injuries suffered in a highway crash.
A few months earlier, the Kirk Firm settled cases in Johnson County for $3.2 million and $2.5 million, the latter for Mary Ward of Harold, 22 years old at the time of the crash on US 23 near Paintsville.
Two years ago, the Kirk Firm filed a wrongful death civil action for the
estate of Rev. Lonnie Preece of Inez against a coal truck company, its
driver and the a coal company which—according to the complaint—was
complicit in the accident because it “overloaded” the coal
truck “knowing that the truck was illegal as soon as it got on the
The accident occurred on a small road near Inez which was not approved for the size and weight. According to court records, a settlement was made for the estate with both the trucking company and the coal company that mined the coal and loaded the truck.
“Over the past five or six years, our firm has represented so many people hurt badly in big truck crashes or represented the estates of those who died in such crashes. Our coal production system is such that independent truckers are paid by the ton for coal delivered from the mine site to the terminal site and, because they are paid by the delivery load, there is that incentive for coal truck drivers to hurry from the mine to the terminal,” John Kirk said.
“I know lots of truckers who are good, responsible, men and they do a good job because it is a very difficult job to operate one of those big rigs upon a crowded roadway like 23 or, worse, on our little side roads. People in other vehicles need to do everything we can to help truckers out and most truckers—in my opinion—need to slow down. When you see two coal trucks going down 23 side-by-side like they are in some kind of race, you know we have a problem.”