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Toby Keith Awarded Millions in Dad's Death

12/25/2007 2:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Toby KeithA jury awarded country star Toby Keith and his family $2.8 million in damages in the 2001 death of his father.

Keith's dad, H.K. Covel, was driving on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma when his truck was bumped by another vehicle, causing it to cross the center median, where it was hit by a charter bus carrying 21 passengers. That bus, according to evidence presented at trial, was "in urgent need" of brake repairs.

The jury ruled unanimously against the owners of the bus, Rodriguez Transportes, and the Republic Western Insurance Co. of Arizona.

76 COMMENTS

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61.

Don    

Deep pockets is right. The "John Edwards" type lawyer got nearly 1 million. Do you really think any of these folks are going to donate to charity. The American tort system and greedy lawyers have screwed up everything. John Edwards made his millions this way. When I was young I wanted to be a lawyer & politician. Now I rank them right up there with child molesters and wife beaters.

2462 days ago
62.

Jenn    

Yeah...that's a hazard you see every day driving down the road a car coming at you from across the median, your reaction time to something like that can't be measured. I agree I don't understand the bus company being sued. I'm sure his father would agree being the man that he was..

2462 days ago
63.

Just so you know    

It wasn't TK's family who sued. It was the driver of the truck who hit TK's dad pushing him into the bus.. He wanted to clear the man's name so he sued the bus company. And the Rodriguez folks knew the brakes were bad on that bus before hand and they did NOTHING about it. Try reading REAL news for once and don't just rely on TMZ for all your info. They leave important items out to mislead the readers. And you people are just suckers for that.

2462 days ago
64.

Rico    

What I find interesting is that Repubs like to cry about money hungry lawyers & the Justice System. The irony is that a great deal of lawyers, from my experience working in a law firm, are republicans. I dont want to lump all lawyers in the Repub category, however, its hard to ignor their membership due to their salaries.
And wholly, the Justice System supports people with higher incomes (who unporportionately are repubs). Just look at the sentences for white collar crimes vs. blue collar crimes. The same people who cry about fraudulent lawsuits are the same people who benefit from those lawsuits.

2462 days ago
65.

Vicki Q    

Considering the fact that Toby doesn't need the money, I hope he donates to a childrens charity or maybe a homeless shelter. Because he has stated it's not about the money....

2462 days ago
66.

LH    

LoL ......... of course, people with similar surnames as the Rodriguez Transportes are the sour grapes on this blog. The moral lesson here .... is punishment for driving with little or no brakes!

Kudos to the Covel family.

2462 days ago
67.

littlepowell    

This is just another crystal clear example of how things are upside down in this country. Unbelievable. The entity that is completely blameless (yet has the most money) loses the lawsuit. I hope the insurance company can appeal vigorously. This is just pure greed.

Toby, I've lost a WHOLE lot of respect for you. Were the songs you've sung against this sort of travesty all about the money also? It sure looks that way.

Yep, you sure did shock me.

2462 days ago
68.

A Friend of TK's    

I am enraged by the ignorance of some of the people that post to this article. First of all let me start by saying that I would never post to these things but I know Toby personally and this was by no means done for monetary gain. Toby lost probably one of the most important people in his life when his father died. HK was a wonderful man and it was a tragedy that this happened to the entire Covel family.
If you read the article posted on AOL it states that the lawsuit was filed on behave of Toby's mother,himself,and his brother and sister. Toby just wanted to clear his fathers name b/c at the time of the accident they said his Dad was at fault. The other driver was held accountable after she fled the seen. This was settled a few years ago read the articles online from the Oklahoma newpapers and you will see the facts surrounding this case not the truths that sell trash magazines.
Toby does a lot of charity work and actually has given back to Oklahoma. Check out his website (http://www.tobykeith.com) Maybe before you all judge him you should know a little about him. Oh yes and have we forgotten about all of his USO trips to support the troops in Iraq for the past you few years?? What you don't know about you should not comment on, but then again your anger might be just your jealously of someone who came from a minimal upbringing worked all through highschool and then went right into work in the oil fields. With the support of his family he reached his dreams with a lot of sacrifices.
As for being a bigot,redneck, and all the other terrible things some of you have said about him you truly know nothing about him.
Oh and to the comment about the stand in his has at his concerts...that is just obscene to suggest. He is one of the hardest working entertainers in the industry...Go to a show and see or ask a true fan. The drug addiction comment is just totally uncalled for remember this man has a family and children that can read these perverse lies. It is such a shame that others jealously leads them to make these posts.
I am glad to be able to say that I know Toby and consider him one of the nicest down to earth people I know...the world actually needs more people like him and less of those that post such terrible comments.

If you asked Toby would he want the $2.8 million or HK back I am sure he would give back all of his riches to have his dad back....just ask him.


2462 days ago
69.

Taytay    

he comes into the restaurant I work in here in oklahoma...total douchebag. too bad about his pops tho.

2462 days ago
70.

danielle_m_v@yahoo.com    

As a country music fan, i will NEVER buy a cd or a concert ticket of Toby Keith's. He financially ruined the lives of the bus owners. I hope no one every hits toby while he is driving because this will come back to bite him on the ass.
Danielle-Oklahoma

2461 days ago
71.

Hairball    

Now don't get me wrong I love Toby and I am saddened to hear he lost his father is such a dramatic way, but how does someone else hitting the vehicle from behind and causing it to cross over the traffic line into an oncoming bus, in anyway make it the buses fault. If something comes at you, headon, at 50 to 60 mph+, it really doesn't matter if you have brakes or not. It is already too late to stop any incident from occurring. Where I can sympathize for Mr. Keith I see no way in hell any normal headed jury could have awarded anyone 2 million dollars unless it was the originating drivers insurance company, but them I forget how Big stars can sway the heads of mere commoners like beloved fans. I am really dissapppinted in these folks decision and it wouldn't matter if the amount had been 2 dollars or 2 million, it is the damn principal and common sense thinking here that was completely overlooked. The car PUSHED him into the BUS, not the other way around.

2460 days ago
72.

Jean    

Well Sanielle you won't be missed. By the way, if that happened to your dad you probably would sit on your hands and let them get away with it. The one that caused his father to go in front of the bus got in trouble too. I'm sorry but if someone is driving out their with bad brakes AND KNOW they are bad they should get in trouble for it. Toby just wanted his father's name cleared, they blamed his dad at first because the woman hit him and took off. It was a hit and run that caused the whole thing. Sorry you take this one thing about Toby that you decide to not buy anymore CD's especially with all he has done for the people in Oklahoma. I hope you never need Ally's House either.

How do you know he financially ruined the bus, he will never see any of that money. People never see the money. Besides, I'm sure Toby would rather have HK back. They were illegally doing what they were doing in the first place. The driver of the bus wasn't even licensed for doing this kind of driving.

You obviously weren't a fan in the first place. I

2459 days ago
73.

Jean    

Sorry that was meant for Danielle not Sanielle.

I guess just because people worked their butts off to have money they aren't suppose to protect their family and if one of them dies not make the people responsible pay.

If the bus was doing the work illegally he should lose the business. He was lucky he didn't kill anyone all along with the bad brakes. Lazy for not getting the fixed. Sooner or later he would have killed someone anyway if he kept driving that bus and not getting the brakes fixed.

2459 days ago
74.

Ken    

I don't care if Toby Keith, his father or any other member of his family was nice, mean or otherwise, has millions, gives to charity or where any of the awarded money will go. it doesn't matter. This has to be dumbest law suit I have heard of being filed. The bus was involved in an accident with a vehicle that was hit and then proceeded to cross the median and into the buses lane. How in the world is this bus company responsible for his death? Good or bad brakes, I doubt it would have made a bit of difference. Yes the bus company should face fines for improper maintenance but not for his death. Was his fathers car in perfect mechanical condition, was he driving the speed limit? The other driver should be charged with his death and whole slew of other charges, since he started the chain of events. Here in PA his father would be responsible for hitting the bus, even though he was hit first. The bus company should counter the claim and sue for damages to their bus, the passengers and driver should also sue the the fathers insurance for mental anguish of having to experience this horrifying experience since his father could maintain proper control of his vehicle. I know people want to blame the lawyers, yes they do have some responsibility in these ridiculous lawsuits, but it is the smack tards that serve as jurors that feel some one deserves to be compensated and have no common sense. Like the jurors that awarded the woman for a burnt crotch after the smack tard put hot coffee between her legs, I am sure the employee didn't place it there or it would have been a sexual harassment lawsuit.

2455 days ago
75.

z1eek    

Thank you Lenn K, for letting me see that someone else is asking about the car the actually caused this accident. What truly happened here is that those busses have to carry a lot of insurance and the Covell Family knows this, Toby rides around in one of these buses. The driver was not arrested nor was he charged with manslaughter which tells me that the OK Highway Patrol did not find him at fault. I think this is pathetic that the family thinks that they need to collect $2.8 million to clear his fathers name. PATHETIC!! I live in OK so I can say this, the jury was mesmerized by Toby Keith and found in his favor. I also work in the justice system and that little county that heard this is so backwoods, more so than mast OK Counties.

2438 days ago
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