Delivery Driver Loses Control, Crashing into Two Pedestrians

Synopsis

In March 2003, two men were at walk-up windows in San Francisco. An Errant Delivery Co. delivery car left the roadway, went up the wheelchair ramp at that corner, across the sidewalk, and into the walk-up windows. The two men, Juan and John, were crushed between the car and the building. John, then 58 years old, suffered traumatic amputation of both legs above the knee. Juan, then 27 years old, sustained a severe crush injury to his left leg.

Defendant Allegations

The Errant Delivery Co. driver contended that the car's brakes had failed and that the only place for him to go was into the building. Witnesses, including a passenger in the car, contradicted his statement and said that he appeared to lose consciousness and veered into the building. A subsequent inspection of the vehicle determined that there was no vehicle malfunction. The impact speed was approximately 25 mph.

Result

In early 2005, Errant Delivery Co.'s counsel contacted plaintiffs' counsel to say that Errant Delivery Co. acknowledged responsibility for the accident but that it was too early to put a value on the case. Errant Delivery Co. wanted to make a pre-resolution partial settlement payment to provide plaintiffs with the financial resources they would need to get by until the case was resolved. Errant Delivery Co. provided plaintiffs with over $1 million at that point. This early display of good faith allowed the parties to continue discussions and eventually reach a resolution that provided plaintiffs with sufficient compensation without forcing Errant Delivery Co. into bankruptcy. As a result, the plaintiffs were justly compensated and over 1,000 employees at Errant Delivery Co. were able to keep their jobs.