Imagine this: A driver for your company hits and kills a horse in a work vehicle. What is the responsibility of your employee and company to other motorists on that road?
That scenario has cost a company in Washington state $2.7 million.
The horse had been hit and killed by an employee driving a utility bucket truck owned by Sprint’s subsidiary, United Telephone Co. of the Northwest. The driver said he left the scene to get help. It was after sunset, and the road was dark.
A car Nanette Aurdal was driving struck the dead horse. An eyewitness said Aurdal’s car became airborne before crashing back to the pavement.
Aurdal sustained a full-body whiplash, pulling her spine, nerves and muscles so severely that she had to get an implanted pump to administer pain medication directly into her spinal cord.
The injuries made it impossible for her to have children, and she has gone into debt because of her medical bills. She also quit her job and was forced to close her family business.
Her lawyer argued that the utility truck driver had flares, cones and other safety devices in the vehicle that could have been used to warn other drivers and prevent Aurdal’s crash.
A jury awarded Aurdal $2.7 million. The company hasn’t commented or said whether it plans to appeal.
Do you think the company was liable because its driver left the scene of the crash with the horse? Let us know in the Comments Box below.