A Texas jury has overturned a $32 million judgement against Domino’s in the case of a delivery driver crashing into another vehicle, causing traumatic brain injury and death.
In August 2012, Ruth Christopher, 65, and her husband Devavaram Christopher, 70, were hit by a Domino’s delivery driver who had hydro-planed and crashed into their car on Major Dr. Police found that wet pavement and a bald tire caused the delivery driver to hydroplane into traffic. Ruth died shortly after the accident and Devavaram was left with a permanent traumatic brain injury.
A year after the accident, Ruth’s brother Raghurami Reddy sued Domino’s and was awarded $32 million by a jury. Reddy’s attorney Chip Ferguson was not happy when he learned that decision was overturned by the Ninth Court of Appeals. “If you want to look at the scorecard it’s corporate America one and the victim zero,” Ferguson said. “With little more than a stroke of a pen three people who did not hear the evidence took all of that away.” Attorney Mike Northrup represented Domino’s during the appeal. Northrup said based on the fact that Reddy had already been awarded $6 million in a pre-trial settlement, the jury’s decision to go after corporate for $32 million didn’t make sense. “The court determined that no, Domino’s was not controlling day-to-day operations,” Northrup said. “In fact by contract Domino’s doesn’t have the right to run the store or hire and fire employees.” Although police found the delivery driver at fault, Northrup said the company’s handbook does not have specific rules on inspecting driver’s vehicles. “Domino’s didn’t say how to inspect those vehicles, Domino’s didn’t say how often, just periodic,” Northrup said. Ferguson called that a public safety hazard and said he plans to appeal the decision. “This is defeat for not just Mr. Reddy and his family, it’s a defeat for motoring public,” Ferguson said. The verdict ranked No. 60 on the national law journal’s top 100 verdicts of 2013, and No. 5 statewide. Originally posted by Brittany Rainville on 12newsnow.com. Traumatic Brain Injury – Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney – Los Angeles