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MOTOR VEHICLE in a suit claiming that a 13-pound steel spacer fell off a tractor-trailer and crashed through the windshield of the escort car behind it, leaving the driver disfigured and brain-damaged, an Alabama jury on June 24 awarded $1.3 million. Mark Dunn, the 39-year-old contract escort driver, was driving behind a rig driven by Sam Standridge and operated by Saiia Construction of Birmingham, Ala., when the the spacer, used to distribute weight evenly over a rig’s axles, fell off. Dunn sued Saiia Construction and Standridge for negligence. The defendants argued that if the rig had lost its spacer the load would have shifted and affected the driver after the accident, which did not happen, and that the damage done to Dunn’s windshield was not consistent with a spacer crashing through it. Dunn v. Saiia Construction LLC, No. 2001-5416 (Jefferson Co., Ala., Cir. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY: Steven Tipler, Bir-mingham, Ala. DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: A. Joe Peddy and J. Craig Lewis, Smith, Spires & Peddy, Bir-mingham

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