When a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver turned in front of him on Florida’s State Road 50, the 62-year-old chief firefighter’s car overturned when he swerved to avoid a crash. Although he was wearing a seatbelt, he incurred catastrophic injuries which left him a quadriplegic. During the following year, he died from medical complications after spending 15 months suffering from his injuries, as reported by Florida Today.
Rather than enjoying his retirement, the fire chief instead relied on a breathing ventilator to keep him alive. His widow claimed the former marathon runner was bedridden and dependent on other people to care for him. The last months of his life were spent in and out of the hospital until he passed away from a pulmonary embolism, a dangerous blood clot that could travel to the lungs.
Throughout years of enduring lengthy court battles, the fire chief’s widow and her legal team fought to hold Domino’s Pizza accountable for their delivery driver’s vehicular negligence. Domino’s Pizza attempted to defend itself by claiming that the driver actually worked for an independent business and was not directly employed by the company. The jury, however, found that the delivery driver was fully responsible for the fire chief’s death while he was performing his duties delivering pizzas for the company’s franchise. Domino’s Pizza was ordered to pay the fire chief’s widow nearly $9 million for her pain and suffering, her husband’s funeral and medical expenses and for the costs of making changes to their home to accommodate his injuries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, delivery drivers are placed under a great deal of stress to make their deliveries quickly and are often involved in vehicle accidents.