A jury awarded $32 million this week to the family of a Southeast Texas couple involved in a fatal crash caused by a pizza delivery driver in August 2012. The jury determined that the pizza chain was partially responsible for the accident by not enforcing a policy that delivery drivers’ vehicles be inspected. The fatal crash occurred in Beaumont, Texas, which is about ninety miles northeast of Houston. The driver lost control of his car while out delivering a pizza and hit a vehicle carrying Ruth Christopher and her husband Devavaram Christopher.
Sixty-five-year-old Ruth Christopher was pronounced dead the following day, while her now seventy-year-old husband survived, but suffered traumatic brain injury, leaving him unable to communicate. Investigators determined that the accident was caused by defective, worn tires on the delivery driver’s vehicle. One of the tires had no tread. Joshua Balka, the driver of that car, was also cited for speeding. In its verdict released on Tuesday, the jury determined that Domino’s was sixty percent responsible for the accident because it failed to enforce its vehicle inspection policy with its franchisees.
Chip Ferguson, an attorney for the couple’s family, stated that he also learned that “Domino’s enforces a tragically unsafe delivery method by providing bonuses and other incentives for fast delivery.” The Vice President of Communications for Domino’s, Tim McIntyre, offered the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company’s condolences to the couple’s family. In an email, however, McIntyre said the company did not understand how it could be held “responsible for whether an independent franchise employee is driving on bald tires.” McIntyre stated that the company is saddened by the tragic accident, but it plans to appeal this decision.
Texas family awarded $32M in suit against Domino’s, www.miamiherald.com August 29, 2013
Driving a defective automobile can lead to devastating, tragic accidents, like the one that occurred here. It is imperative that drivers regularly inspect their vehicles to ensure that all parts are operating properly, especially parts like the tires. If a driver’s tires are not in good condition, it becomes much easier for a driver to lose control of his vehicle and cause danger to those nearby. Jonathan Friedland and Michael Carmona are product liability attorneys who understand the devastation that can be caused by a defective vehicle. The Miami Beach automobile accident attorneys have spent over two decades working with victims of these accidents and their families to ensure that they receive the compensation that they deserve. If you or someone you love has suffered serious or fatal injuries in a car accident, call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation. Don’t hesitate! Call today!
The Miami personal injury attorneys at the Friedland Law Group handle all types of automobile vehicle accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland Law Group handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!