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Enormous payout - but the company says they will appeal

The family of a firefighter from Houston have reached the end of a gruelling three year battle for justice after he was killed in a collision - and received an enormous payout.

W. Mark Braswell was killed by a landscaping trailer stopped in traffic as he cycled along a four lane road.

It remains unclear what happened, as there were no witnesses.

His attorney Richard Mithoff said the truck stopped suddenly to unload equipment, when the driver should have turned into a side street.

The company, named in the suit as Brickman but now known as BrightView, is a huge national landscaping firm.

They are planning to appeal the $39 million (£30m) payout for wrongful death.

"The Braswell family is extremely grateful for the jury's verdict," Mithoff told the Chron.

Michelle Braswell, the cyclist’s widow, filed suit against Brickman and the worker driving the truck in 2015.

"We continue to express our condolences to Mark Braswell's family," the company said in a statement.

During the course of the week-long trial, a Brickman supervisor admitted that stopping in traffic to work was a dangerous practice, but the company did nothing to stop it. The workers did not put out cones, flags or lookouts to redirect traffic.

"I think this case highlights the danger of this practice, of commercial trucks stopping to load or unload in the middle of a busy thoroughfare," Mithoff said.

"The family is hopeful," Mithoff said, "that this will serve as a wake up call to any companies engaging in this practice."

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.