A Texas jury is holding Domino’s Pizza partially responsible for a car accident involving a delivery driver that killed one woman and left her husband with brain damage. The victims’ family claimed that it was Domino’s fault that the driver was driving in a car with allegedly bald tires. The jury agreed, awarding the family $32 million and saying that Domino’s should have had inspection rules in place to keep such a vehicle off the road.
The jury says Domino’s was negligent, reports KFDM.com, and ultimately 60% responsible because it didn’t enforce its vehicle inspection policy with franchisees.
“Domino’s simply refused to enforce the basic safety rules for the safety of the vehicle, that gets back to the fact that we had a set of tires on this particular delivery vehicle that by everybody’s admission were unsafe, defective, dangerous.”said an attorney for the family, adding that the promise of delivery in 30 minutes is also to blame.
“We also learned that Domino’s enforces a tragically unsafe delivery method by providing bonuses and other incentives for fast delivery,” he said.
It was raining at the time of the accident, said the attorney, and the delivery driver reportedly hydroplaned into oncoming traffic, slamming into the couple’s vehicle.
A Domino’s spokesman issued a statement on the $32 million award, noting that while the company is sorry for the family’s loss, Domino’s shouldn’t be held responsible for the franchisee’s driver.
“First, our hearts go out to all involved in this tragedy. This was a terrible accident. What’s difficult to comprehend is the idea that a corporation is responsible for whether an independent franchise employee is driving on bald tires. The employee is in question did not work for us; he worked for an established independent franchise operation. Franchisors do not control the day-to-day operations of franchisees, especially to that minute level of detail. We are saddened by this tragedy, but do intend to appeal the decision.”