Natalie Weatherford and John Taylor Secure a Record Setting $5 Million Settlement in Rape Case against CRST Trucking
CRST Expedited, Inc., a national long-haul trucking business, recently settled a sexual assault lawsuit brought against them by an ex-employee Jane Doe. Eric Horton, accused of raping Doe, was also a defendant in the case. Taylor & Ring is proud to have represented Ms. Doe, and are pleased to bring her closure and justice after the horrific experience she endured.
According to court documents, Jane was 55 years old when the assault occurred, a mother of two employed by CRST as a student truck driver. While stopped in Sweetwater, Wyoming on her first trip as a CRST student driver, her supervisor and lead driver Eric Horton raped her in the cab of their truck. The sexual assault happened at approximately 4:00am on August 13, 2017.
Since the assault, Jane has suffered immensely. Even after reporting the rape to CRST, they failed to take proper action. During the litigation, CRST employees testified that CRST does not consider claims of sexual assault to be “valid” unless they are somehow corroborated by a third party, or recorded by audio/video. This meant that unless Horton admitted to assaulting Jane himself, which he didn’t, her complaint was ignored.
Adding insult to injury, she was effectively terminated from CRST in retaliation, and then billed $9,000 for her student driver training. John Taylor and Natalie Weatherford sought causes of action for:
- Sexual assault and harassment in violation of the Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA)
- Failure to investigate and prevent harassment in violation of FEHA
- Negligent hiring, retention and supervision
- Intentional infliction of emotional distress
Today, Jane is 58 and diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the rape. Court documents describe her as experiencing “constant flashbacks, hypervigilance, anxiety and difficulty sleeping,” and “that is no quick fix for [her] injuries, she will spend the rest of her life dealing with the emotional aftermath of the rape.”
About CRST Expedited
CRST is one of the most profitable transportation and logistics companies in the country, with revenues of over one billion dollars annually. However, this success on paper does not translate to safety for their women employees. The Jane Doe case is by no means CRST’s first run-in with sexual harassment and sexual assault problems.
ABC News reported back in 2018 that between 2015 and 2017, nearly 300 women filed complaints against CRST for a variety of offenses ranging from propositions for sex to rape and assault. The article pointed out that CRST’s student/lead driver model is dangerous for women: “One of the most common complaints is from women trainees, who make up the overwhelming majority of the class, who were made to understand that their passage – that is being able to move on to be drivers and receive actual pay – was dependent on providing sexual favors. That could be either explicit or implicit.”
At Taylor & Ring, we are proud to fight on behalf of survivors. If Jane’s story sounds familiar to you, we invite you to reach out to our offices today. We can, and want, to help. Call our Los Angeles sexual assault attorneys at 310-776-6390 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free, confidential consultation.
David Ring is a nationally renowned plaintiff’s personal injury trial attorney and has obtained multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of seriously-injured individuals or families who have lost a loved one in a tragic accident. For more than 20 years, he has represented victims of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, assault, molestation and sexual misconduct in cases against a variety of employers and entities, including schools, churches and youth organizations.
He prides himself on providing aggressive, yet compassionate representation for children who have been sexually abused and women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. Read more about David M. Ring.