Employer Responsible For Employee’s Driving
Aug 19, 2015
A recent case involving the death of a child illustrates how complex even a seemingly straightforward lawsuit can be.
The case arose out of the tragic death of an 11-year-old girl who was waiting for her school bus. She was struck and killed by a truck driver making a turn. Evidence from the scene showed that truck’s tire left the road and struck the girl.
She suffered severe head trauma and was declared dead on the scene. It was alleged that the truck driver left the road because he was going too fast in order to get to work on time.
The driver was charged with manslaughter and is awaiting trial. However, a suit was brought against the trucking company that employed him. Trucking is a regulated industry, and the family argued that the employer had not provided the driver with the training required by federal law. The employer responded by claiming that the driver had a valid license allowing him to drive a truck and, therefore, his training was adequate, even if it was incomplete.
The jury rejected this argument. Although it awarded the estate of the girl only a small amount of money for her suffering, it awarded a substantial amount to her parents for the loss of their daughter. The final verdict was over $6,500,000.
Even a case that looks simple can have twists and turns. Many people would not assume that the trucker’s employer could be liable for the trucker’s bad driving. Don’t try to navigate these issues by yourself. Get the help of a qualified lawyer.