Service Center Pays $175,000 to Customer Struck by Car
The plaintiff, a 53-year-old male took his vehicle to the defendant’s tire shop for an oil change and lube job in Manning, South Carolina. The shop had no real waiting area. The service areas were roped off so that the customers couldn’t go into the service areas. The plaintiff stood outside the bays near a dumpster and made a few phone calls. Meanwhile, the owner of the service company entered a vehicle, which did not have breaks. The defendant was unable to control the vehicle and it rolled toward the plaintiff. The plaintiff attempted to get out of the way, but wasn’t able to do so in time. He was hit by the vehicle and pinned up against a dumpster. Following the incident, he was taken to the emergency room where it was determined that he sustained a torn meniscus, which required surgical repair.
The plaintiff argued that the defendant’s owner was negligent in attempting to move the vehicle that he knew did not have breaks and failing to ensure the area was clear of customers or employees. The plaintiff claimed that he was standing in the appropriate area. He also presented a testimony from a former employee that, when the vehicle was brought in, the vehicle had to be stopped by another vehicle traveling in front of it because of the lack of breaks. It was said that the owner also instructed employees not to drive the vehicle.
The defendant’s owner said that he did not know that the vehicle in question didn’t have breaks and that he had never serviced a vehicle, which was totally without any braking capacity. The owner claimed he attempted to jump out and stop the vehicle and blew the horn to warn the plaintiff, who should have been able to get out of the way. He also argued that the force of the impact was minimal. The defendant said he suffered a knee injury in a prior accident and that his claim of injury was unrelated to this incident.
The alleged injures were a torn meniscus of the right knew which required surgery. The plaintiff recovered from his surgery with some minor ongoing residuals. He continued to work despite his injury. He sought $53,000 for medical bills, as well as damages for pain and suffering.
On January 1, 2010 a settlement of $175,000 was released to the plaintiff
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