New Mexico Judge Awards Estate $80M in Suffocation Death

A judge has awarded nearly $80 million to the estate and family of an Albuquerque woman who suffocated in 2002 when her car was buried by sand after being struck by a tractor-trailer truck.

District Judge Shannon Bacon entered the judgment Monday to the estate of Laura Miera and the 48-year-old woman’s husband and daughter. It includes $60 million of punitive damages.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Bacon entered the judgment against Albuquerque Redi-Mix and another company and owners, John and Barbara Quintana. It was an Albuquerque Redi-Mix truck that crashed into Miera’s car after exiting Interstate 40.

The Quintanas had denied violating any state or federal regulations and said the accident and injuries it caused resulted from the action of others.