A Pennsylvania landscaper, David Williams, was the victim of a serious truck accident, which left him with a fractured spinal cord, paralyzing him for life. Williams was a truck driver for a fleet service. He was out on delivery, when bald tires on his vehicle caused it to roll over, causing this life-altering accident. Williams, a husband and father of three, was left quadriplegic following treatment, which included several months of incredibly expensive rehabilitative care, and now requires home nursing care at all hours of the day, including nighttime repositioning. His future care is expected to cost him several million dollars.
Following the accident, Williams took legal action against the companies he was working for. The parties that the claim sought to hold responsible for the accident were ServiceMaster Co., the parent company of TruGreen Corp. at the time of the accident and subsequent lawsuit, and Dickinson Fleet Services LLC. The lawsuit accused the companies of failing to take proper precautions when prepping Williams’ vehicle for delivery.
When servicing the truck that Williams was to drive, the agency missed one crucial detail. The tires on the vehicle that Williams was going to drive were bald.
Bald tires on the road can simply go flat on their own just by the sheer force of driving, especially driving at high speeds. In rain or snow, bald tires will not be able to hold enough traction to stop the car when braking. Checking the tires is a part of every routine inspection for normal vehicles, and most commercial services often take extra steps in checking ties for the safety of their drivers, and everyone else on the road. After all, truck accidents are more likely to impact other drivers on the road as well.
Through investigation and litigation, it was uncovered that a field service technician for the fleet service reported insufficient tread on one of the tires of the truck. The lawsuit alleged that this safety violation should have warranted the truck being pulled from the road, and that this oversight cost Williams dearly. The lawsuit sought punitive damages on both the defendants for allowing this incident to occur. The defendants eventually settled the case out of court, with TruGreen and ServiceMaster paying $16.75M, Dickinson Fleet Services paying $9.5M, and another defendant involved that also serviced the truck, Brooks Auto Repair, paying $300,000 in damages.
Accidents in the workplace can have serious consequences. Employers are under many obligations to keep conditions safe for workers. If you or a loved one has been injured while on the job, contact our law firm today.