M.O. v. Larry Thrasher and Heartland Food Management d/b/a Pizza Hut
Posted on July 15th, 2010 by Zane Cagle
$300,000 SETTLEMENT AFTER NO-DAMAGE CAR ACCIDENT WITH PIZZA DELIVERY DRIVER
Plaintiff was a passenger in an SUV that was rear-ended by a Pizza Hut delivery driver in Caruthersville, Missouri. The motor vehicle accident caused no property damage to either vehicle. Plaintiff alleged that the accident caused a neck injury, and her medical bills totaled approximately $105,000.
The Pizza Hut delivery driver indicated that he was paid a flat fee for each delivery and that the accident resulted from his hurry to deliver pizzas. Plaintiff asked for both actual and punitive damages because Pizza Hut’s policy of rewarding drivers for each delivery encouraged reckless driving.
Defendant argued that Plaintiff’s injuries were pre-existing, citing evidence of an emergency room visit nine days prior to the crash in which Plaintiff complained of neck and shoulder pain. Defendant also argued no injury could have resulted due to no property damage to the vehicles. After the car crash, Plaintiff was evaluated at the emergency room again and ultimately underwent a cervical fusion. Subsequent to her surgery, Plaintiff was involved in a second car crash which complicated her permanency arguments against the Defendant. An expert for Defendant also opined that the accident could not have caused Plaintiff’s injuries due to the low speed.
After a case was filed in the Circuit Court of Pemiscot County (Missouri), an out-of-court settlement was negotiated in mediation. Plaintiff settled for $300,000.