Orlando, FL— Domino’s Pizza turned into a hit with an $8.Ninety-seven million verdicts Friday at trial over a 2011 crash that killed a former Florida fireplace leader in the long run. Wiederhold v. Domino’s Pizza, 2011-CA-001589. Jurors in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, in Orange County, deliberated approximately an hour earlier than finding pizza transport motive force Jeffrey Kidd a hundred percent answerable for the March 2011 damage that rendered Richard Wiederhold a person with quadriplegia. Wiederhold, 62, a retired Brevard County fireplace leader, died from harm-related headaches about a yr after the crash.
Jurors concluded Kidd, and the Fischler Enterprises Domino’s franchise he worked for at the time of the crash, were sellers of the bigger Domino’s Pizza company franchisor, rendering the pizza massive, the case’s named defendant, in charge.
Friday’s award consists of $8 million to Wiederhold’s widow, Yvonne, and more than $970,000 in medical and other fees. During Friday’s closings, Yvonne Wiederhold’s legal professional, Avera & Smith’s Mark Avera, asked about $12.97 million in damages. The crash passed off while Wiederhold allegedly swerved to avoid colliding with Kidd’s automobile, which had pulled onto Florida’s State Road 50. Wiederhold, who became visiting in his truck with Yvonne, drove into the median and lower back across the roadway earlier than his truck overturned.
Yvonne Wiederhold claims Kidd brought about the spoil with the aid of pulling dangerously into Wiederhold’s course. The 3-day trial targeted no longer simplest on what position Kidd played in the crash, but whether Domino’s turned into accountable for his actions.
Domino contends that the franchise Kidd worked for became an impartial commercial enterprise, and the bigger organization bore no duty for his behavior. During Friday’s closings, Rissman Barrett’s Richard Womble instructed jurors Domino’s had no control over the franchise’s daily operations. Evidence, he stated, showed the franchise retained manipulate of hiring, supervising, and disciplining personnel, among different business matters.
“And extensively, whilst the twist of fate occurred, who did Mr. [Jarred] Fischler call? Did he name Domino’s Pizza, LLC?” Womble asked. “He didn’t file it to Domino’s Pizza, LLC. And Mr. Kidd advised Mr. Fischler, his business enterprise.”
Womble added that proof confirmed Wiederhold, no longer Kidd, induced the crash. Womble walked jurors thru testimony from coincidence reconstruction professional Don Fournier, who concluded that Wiederhold becomes speeding just before the break and will have avoided the coincidence if he had been touring at the velocity restrict and braked accurately. “There changed into no need to swerve into the median,” Womble said.
But Avera instructed jurors Fournier’s conclusions rested on key assumptions regarding the place of Kidd’s automobile before it entered the journey lane. “[Fournier] conceded to our aspect that Ms. Wiederhold’s model of events fits if he movements Mr. Kidd’s automobile,” Avera stated. “That’s all it took.”
Avera brought that Domino’s exerted a strict everyday manipulate over the franchise that rendered it chargeable for Kidd’s actions. He reminded jurors of proof showing Domino’s had authority over problems starting from worker uniforms and grooming standards to transport car appearance and system.
And Avera countered defense claims that those regulations simplest existed to protect the agency’s logo. “It doesn’t rely upon why they have the proper of manipulating,” Avera said. “You received’t see instruction at the law that announces ‘Well, if the right of control is for logo, then they get a bypass.'”