Toby Keith's family wins suit in father's death
Monday, December 24, 2007
– The family of Toby Keith won a $2.8-million dollar award against a Tulsa, Okla. Company for the wrongful death and negligence of T.K. Covel, Keith's father, in a March 2001 car accident.
Elias Rodriguez and Pedro Rodriguez - doing business as, Rodriguez
Transportes of Tulsa and the Republic Western Insurance Company, an Arizona
Corporation - were found responsible.
Covel was driving a Ford truck that was traveling near
Goldsby, Okla. when he was bumped by another vehicle, sending his truck
across the median, where it was struck by a southbound tour (charter) bus.
The Rodriguezes were in a 1996 Dina Viag charter-type bus loaded with 21
passengers at the time of the accident. They had purchased the bus in
October of 2000. In the following month, November 2000, a bus servicing
facility in Tulsa inspected the bus and found it was "urgently" in need of
An expert witness testified that Covel would have lived if
the bus has been equipped with proper brakes and the driver had been
properly trained to drive the bus The evidence in the case revealed the bus
driver, David Perez, was not trained to drive a commercial bus and did not
have a commercial driver's license. The jury concluded the accident was
"clearly avoidable," according to Keith's publicist.
Initially it was speculated that Covel may have suffered a medical
condition, thereby causing the accident because no one knew that a car had
bumped his truck onto the other side of the I-35. Six months after the
accident, Jeanne Sparlin, who was the driver of that vehicle, was charged
with leaving the scene of a fatality accident. She later pled guilty to the
charge. This collection of facts led the Covel family to hire an
investigator to determine how the accident occurred and what caused
The unanimous jury verdict in the case answered these questions for the
family, clearly establishing that Covel was not at fault. In addition, the jury found by clear and convincing evidence
that Rodriguez Transportes acted in reckless disregard for the rights of Covel.
"We were only there to find the truth and the jury saw it so plainly that
they awarded us a unanimous decision," Toby Keith said.
The plaintiffs in the case were Covel's wife, Carolyn Covel, his daughter,
Tonni Covel and sons Toby Keith Covel and Tracey Covel.
More news for Toby Keith
CD reviews for Toby Keith
Drinks After Work
If 52-year old Toby Keith has learned anything after 20 years, it is to stick with a winning formula. Working with longtime collaborators Scotty Emerick, Bobby Pinson and Rivers Rutherford, "Drinks After Work" is chock full of blue collar ethic, humor and some heartbreak.
Most of the album is driven by big hooks and country guitar, However, Keith experiments a bit stylistically with computerized hip hop on the party anthem opener, Shut Up And Hold On, a Buffet-esque steel drum on »»»
Hope on the Rocks
For most of the 2000s, Toby Keith albums have been predictable and quite honestly pretty boring. Keith's latest again is predictable, but this time around it's anything but dull. Perhaps it's the pared down selection of just 10 cuts, allowing Keith to cull and produce the best that he's written.
His themes stomp through familiar turf - cold beer, curvy girls, curvy girls who drink cold beer - but there's a more convincing vibe from start to finish. »»»
Bullets in the Gun
Toby Keith is back with his annual release, once again delivering a record stocked with blue collar scenarios and tales of life. While his songs do paint a picture, at times they lack the refreshing desire of something fresh and new.
The record opens with the title cut co-written by Rivers Rutherford. This song tells a story, but leaves the feeling of having heard it before. Think Robert Earl Keen and mix in the Cliff Note version of Townes Van Zandt's Pancho & Lefty, without the compelling saga. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Hurray for the Riff: more than just a great name
Hurray for the Riff Raff is one well-named group. Not that it signifies all that much musically, but at least it's catchy and makes you want to root for the underdog. With a lot to live up moniker wise, the band in concert - which, in reality, is lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra from New Orleans and her backing mates - more than lived up to the "pressure.... »»»
Concert Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops easily weather changes
The personnel in the Carolina Chocolate Drops may have changed drastically over the last few years - two of its three founding members are no longer - but that apparently has not had any impact whatsoever on the group both when it comes to the musical direction and the ability to come through in concert.
Rhiannon Giddens, who plays fiddle... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
For 25 years, Gerry House spent every weekday morning in people's living rooms. As the host of the much-loved and much-acclaimed morning show, Gerry House and the House Foundation, House reigned on the airwaves on Nashville's WSIX-FM from 1983-2010, taking a brief hiatus to work for WSM-AM in Nashville and for KLAC in Los Angeles.... »»»
Expectations of being a "Carter Girl" - the way Carlene Carter refers to herself with her latest album title - must be extremely daunting at times. "It's as difficult as you want to make it," Carter explains. "I've always just embraced the fact that I was born into this family and very proud to be part of it." However, much like her mother, June Carter Cash, Carlene has always been a free spirit and fiercely individualistic.
To take a page from Judy Collins' notebook, Lydia Loveless has seen life from both sides now. After a childhood in tiny Coshocton, Ohio, a move to Columbus and a gig playing bass in her family's new wave/rock band as a teenager, Loveless set out on her own musical path at the age of 17. In 2010, the 20-year-old Loveless released her debut album, "The Only Man," which was critically acclaimed but just barely heard by the general public.... »»»
Turn It Up
Josh Thompson's sophomore release, "Turn It Up" is his first on Toby Keith's Show Dog label. It seems to be a good match because both artists are cut from the same cloth. Thompson is also known as a champion of the everyman. Turns out they both have the same tendency to go over the top. Thompson excessively showcases the blue collar lifestyle the way Keith champions patriotism. »»»
Jerrod Niemann's new "High Noon" album is better than the annoying single, "Drink to That All Night," might lead you to believe. Fortunately, the album is not completely a Luke Bryan sound-alike. Even so, there are moments where Niemann sometimes sounds a little too much like his musical contemporaries. »»»
Out Among the Stars
One would think that with all the archival music, reissues and postmortem tributes released on Johnny Cash's behalf, the vaults would have been scraped pretty clean by now, with only scraps left for dedicated completists to feast upon. So it comes as no small surprise to find that the Cash archivists actually uncovered some entire sessions that haven't been unearthed until now. »»»
Summer Number Seventeen
Quick, what guy compiled 40 number one country singles, recorded with everybody from Ray Charles to Elvis, but has yet to be enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame? Yes, it's Ronnie Milsap, now in his 70s, just like Merle Haggard (who was inducted 20 years ago). Clearly, the ornery outlaws get more attention than the nice guy romantics. And it doesn't help that Milsap has always been interested in many different flavors of music »»»
Slow Me Down
Once upon a time, circa 1997, Sara Evans was a dyed in the wool traditional country singer. "Three Chords and the Truth" was the most appropriate title of her debut. But times and styles have changed in the country music world. Seventeen years later, not only is Evans not traditional sounding, she also doesn't particularly heed her own advice from the title. And that means she pretty much maintains a fast, big sounding, pop approach to the 11 songs... »»»