Amos drove a garbage truck for the AAA Garbage Company for ten years. Amos was becoming increasingly concerned about the upkeep on the truck that he drove. He complained to his supervisor on numerous occasions that the brakes on the truck seem to be becoming soft, and the speedometer stopped working. Unfortunately, Amos\’ complaints fell on deaf ears.
On February 18th, Amos was driving his vehicle towards Mt. Cobb on Route 348 on a rather steep incline. Amos realized that his brakes had now failed, and he was not able to slow the vehicle down. Millie Holcomb was driving also in the same direction towards Mt. Cobb, and she noticed Amos\’ truck in her rear view mirror coming at her at an increasing speed. Millie, in a sense, was boxed in since there was traffic in the opposite direction and a car approximately four car lengths in front of her. She just didn\’t have the time to take any type of evasive maneuver, and Amos\’ truck violently struck the rear of Millie\’s vehicle causing Millie\’s vehicle to go out of control. Millie sustained extensive injuries which left her in a hospital for over three months followed by a nine month visit as an in-patient at Allied Services. It became clear Millie would never recover from the injury she had sustained and would need assistance for the rest of her life.
ISSUE: What are Millie\’s remedies?
ANSWER: Millie will pursue a suit against AAA Garbage Company. Not only can she sue AAA Garbage Company for the injuries she sustained, but she can also pursue punitive damages given the companies outrageous conduct in not making sure that the truck was roadworthy and ignoring the concerns of the truck driver regarding the faulty brakes and the other problems with the vehicle.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.