In March of 2020, a buyer took his Jeep to Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Rochester, Michigan for an oil change. That’s when tragedy struck. In accordance to FOX 2 Detroit, a 19-yr-previous dealership staff bought guiding the wheel of the Jeep and accidentally ran above a further personnel, 42-calendar year-old Jeffrey Hawkins, who died quickly. Now, Hawkins’ spouse and children is suing the Jeep owner—not simply because that human being held any duty for this tragedy, but since which is the family’s only route for recourse beneath Michigan legislation.
By all accounts, this was an avoidable tragedy. As FOX 2 Detroit experiences, the 19-year-outdated personnel did not have a driver’s license and did not know how to push a manual-transmission car or truck. When the staff bought in the Jeep to commence the engine, he took his foot off the clutch pedal and the Jeep began relocating, placing and killing Hawkins.
“He was an fantastic gentleman,” David Femminineo, an attorney for Hawkins’ spouse and children, advised FOX 2. “The two-year-aged, who was about 1 at the time of the accident, the time of the death—he’ll under no circumstances know his father.”
Hawkins was married with four small children, and experienced labored for yrs as a mechanic.
As Femminineo described to Jalopnik, the Hawkins family simply cannot instantly sue the dealership or its management. Michigan workers’ compensation legislation says you can not sue a fellow personnel for negligence when on the occupation. So the Hawkins family’s only selection was to sue the Jeep owner. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Jeep proprietor will be held dependable for the accidental loss of life.
In accordance to Femminineo, when the Hawkins loved ones filed go well with in opposition to the Jeep owner, that individual right away sued the dealership for indemnification, and received. With that victory in place, whichever benefits from the Hawkins family’s accommodate towards the Jeep operator will be the authorized duty of Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge (and their insurance plan firm). Generally, whilst the operator of the Jeep is named in the match, that particular person won’t experience any repercussions from the demo or judgment.
According to Femminineo, the trial is set for May well 20 in Oakland County, Michigan. The household is trying to get $15 million in damages.
Why did Rochester Hills Chrysler Dodge Jeep employ the service of a 19-yr-outdated with no driver’s license, or allow that employee help with service-section operate that clearly essential driving techniques that person lacked? That remains an open up issue. Jalopnik has reached out to Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge for remark, but did not receive a reaction by press time. If we hear back from the dealership, we will update this report.