Georgia based, United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS) is the world’s
largest package delivery provider. The company serves over 6 million customers
across the globe every day. In 2012, the company generated nearly $55
billion in revenue.
UPS is named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit alleging liability for
wrongful death and injuries resulting from an automobile accident involving
one of its truck drivers.
UPS is currently named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania
federal court. The lawsuit alleges liability for wrongful death and injuries
sustained in a motor vehicle accident caused by one of the company’s
truck drivers. The motor vehicle accident occurred in March 2012, when
Christina Scott’s car became disabled as she was driving northbound
along Pennsylvania Route 119. Scott got out of her car and walked to the
trunk of the vehicle where she was rear ended by Thomas Burke, a UPS truck
driver. The motor vehicle accident killed Scott and injured one of her
children, who was seated in the car.
After the accident, Scott’s husband filed a lawsuit against both
UPS and Burke. The case is currently in the discovery phase, which is
the period of time allotted to the parties in a case for the purpose of
gathering evidence. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the
case will proceed to trial sometime after the discovery phase ends in
November of this year.
The Court recently granted the Plaintiff leave to request punitive damages,
but stated that the fully developed case record is necessary in order
to issue a ruling.
Last week, the Court addressed a preliminary motion regarding whether the
plaintiff is entitled to
punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages which go beyond what is necessary to compensate
the plaintiff for their injuries, and are meant to punish the defendant.
Punitive damages require a higher something more than negligence.
Scott’s husband argues that he should be allowed to seek punitive
damages because UPS knew or should have known that Burke was using his
cell phone at the time of the accident, that Burke had a history of safety
violations, and that he failed to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations. However, according to UPS the evidence described by Scott’s
husband does not amount to the evil motive or reckless indifference required
in order to impose punitive damages.
The Court denied UPS’s request for a ruling that would hold as a
matter of law that Burke’s conduct did not constitute reckless indifference
to the rights of others. The Court reasoned that the case record needs
to be more fully developed before a proper determination can be made on
the question of whether punitive damages are appropriate.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, or if
your loved one have been killed in an automobile accident, you should
contact an attorneyimmediately.