Always Low Prices Is Not Always Safe
Wal-mart is synonymous with low prices. In an effort to drive prices as low as they can possibly go, the retail giant cuts costs at every opportunity, including forcing its employees to work excessively long hours for low pay. Whereas, this may be an unethical way to treat an employee in any job, when this policy is applied to its truck drivers, the policy is downright dangerous.
Yet, again, an overworked fatigued Wal-mart driver is responsible for a fatal accident. Last June, Wilbur Peterson’s semi skipped over the median and fatally hit Wiley Clark’s car head-on in Hawthorne, a small rural North Florida town near Jacksonville. 72 year-old at the time, Mr. Clark had just retired as a law enforcement investigator when his life was cut short in the horrific 18-wheeler accident.
Shockingly, on the day of the accident, Mr. Peterson had been behind the wheel for the 12th night in a row and had worked for 65 hours in the preceding week. In addition, he was traveling 17 mph over the posted speed limit in a tractor-trailer with tires worn down to 1/32nd of an inch in violation of federal truck maintenance laws.
Widow Sues Wal-Mart, Driver and Swift Transportation for Wrongful Death
Bonnie Clark sued Wal-Mart, Mr. Peterson and Swift Transportation for the wrongful death of her husband. Swift Transportation is responsible for the tractor-trailer that Mr. Peterson wrecked. The enormous transportation company operates a fleet of almost 18,000 trucks, according to its website, which also boasts stellar safety standards.
Ms. Clark explained in an interview with a local Jacksonville news team her objective for suing Wal-Mart “We need to send a message to these companies that these big trucks can’t be speeding through our little towns.”
The family’s lawyer said, “It really comes down to the bottom line for them…. The more you can get out of a driver, then the less you have to pay for the drive, the more profits they make, but we need to tell them with lawsuits like these that they have to pay for mistakes, too.”
Wal-Mart Has a History of Dangerously Tired Drivers
Wal-Mart is in the midst of another wrongful death lawsuit involving one of its 18-wheeler drivers in New Jersey. In that case, the sleepy truck driver slammed into a limo carrying the popular comedian Tracey Morgan and his colleagues. The Wal-Mart driver had dozed off after driving for more than 24 hours. Mr. Morgan was seriously injured and his dear friend was killed in the collision.
Wal-Mart needs to start putting lives ahead of its bottom line. For starters, the company owes the American public the duty of complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service rules.
Get the Help You Need After a Tractor-Trailer Wreck in Dallas-Fort Worth
Berenson Law Firm has represented tractor-trailer accident victims for 35 years. If you were injured in a truck crash in Dallas, Fort Worth or our surrounding communities, call us at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 to schedule a free, no-obligation meeting with attorney Bill Berenson.