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Businesses face extreme liability when employees drive distracted

GasBuddy Blog -- Earlier this year a Corpus Christi jury awarded $24 million to a woman struck in 2010 by a Coca-Cola driver who was using a cellphone. Vanice Chatman-Wilson, 37, was awarded $10 million in punitive damages and $14 million in actual damages.

Chatman-Wilson was left with severe pain in her neck, lower back, upper back and in February 2011 she had lumbar surgery, said Thomas J. Henry, one of her attorneys.

Bob Hilliard, Chatman-Wilson’s other attorney, said Coca-Cola had no enforcement of a cellphone policy. “Not only does Coke need to change it, but when other companies hear the verdict they will take a look at their policies,” he said.

But will they? We certainly hope so. Coca-Cola’s cellphone policy requires...


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Submitted Sep 26, 2012 By: PD
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Author Topic: Businesses face extreme liability when employees drive distracted Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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garywa01
Sophomore Author Alberta

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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2012 8:57:44 AM

yes
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2012 8:45:57 AM

too bad it's such prevalent thing to have everyone text and talk and do everything else in the car BUT drive.

Maybe it's time to have robo-car "drivers"?
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jeffbone
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Sep 28, 2012 8:53:07 AM

"Not Newsworthy"
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remay
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Sep 28, 2012 6:49:58 AM

Individuals should be judged EQUALLY...
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PurplepassionNC
All-Star Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 9:12:12 PM

Very true. So very serious for all of us to be on the look out for distracted driver.
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RitaVespa
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 7:46:46 PM

Seriously?!? The driver didn't know how dangerous it was? Whatever
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GatorGuy
Champion Author Columbia

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 4:12:48 PM

The driver testified: "if she knew about the risks she never would have used a cellphone while driving,..."

Wow, really? c'mon
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indyjim
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 2:57:34 PM

Until devices are developed which prevent cell phone use when vehicles are in gear, accidents will continue.
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nokaoi2009
Champion Author Honolulu

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 2:56:37 PM

I would make it a policy to not use cell phones at all while driving, not even with a hands-free device. The distraction is not worth getting into an accident, especially with a large truck. A vehicle is a hurtling mass of metal that can become deadly in a matter of seconds.
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sparky808
Champion Author Honolulu

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 1:23:59 PM

old post.
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crusty1
All-Star Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:52:47 PM

Another display of what an inexperienced driver behind the wheel of a truck can do. 30 years old female. What 30 year old female isn't on the phone while driving? Even pulling out of her own driveway.
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Catfish93001
Champion Author Ventura

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:47:31 PM

Sure, it's deep pockets, but that woman's life is forever changed, she deserves compensation.
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19sheldon43
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:39:48 PM

Personally I don't necessarily feel the company is always responsible for the actions of their employee. But then its the "deep pocket" syndrome, you have to follow the big money
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cupboy
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:34:02 PM

I would have liked to have been on this jury. I would find it interesting to study the jurors.
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Wood_Chopper
All-Star Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:32:28 PM

What was this jury smoking? How many jobs will Coca-Cola cut back to pay for this? Who do you think pays for this excess? We do. The only ones who get rich off the accident is the sleazy lawyers.
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ForeignBody
All-Star Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:32:15 PM

When will everyone understand that using any phone when driving is dangerous.
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cupboy
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:30:34 PM

What law is that?

[Edited by: cupboy at 9/27/2012 12:31:45 PM EST]
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gbs1
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:29:03 PM

This is the reason there is the law regarding commercial truck drivers and cellphone use.
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frdhbrd
All-Star Author Calgary

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:28:31 PM

"Araceli Vanessa-Cabral, 30, the driver of the truck, testified that if she knew about the risks she never would have used a cellphone while driving, Henry said."

She is either lying or completely ignorant.
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teebone1234
Champion Author San Francisco

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:27:31 PM

okay
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GasSpy007
Champion Author New York City

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:26:01 PM

About time.. pay attention..
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99church
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:24:31 PM

well said sivart
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bullfrog69
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:24:27 PM

Coca Cola China owned now! Get a rope!
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wang91554
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:24:18 PM

i'd say so
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ItsMorph
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:22:55 PM

Sad that a company can't be proactive about safety. The drivers make dozens of stops per day, usually not far from each other. Why can't they just check in with base at each stop?
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nskmda
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:22:06 PM

it's not about companies.
just push a law allowing for a XXX-thousand fines for this.
it will stop if you stimulate officers to ticket such drivers (with a fraction of the ticket price).
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Holly123
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:21:49 PM

Bet she switched to Pepsi!
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tobasco
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:19:12 PM

Maybe if the laws were actually enforced...
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jodybull
All-Star Author El Paso

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:18:30 PM

Coke prices will surely go up!
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pper
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:18:19 PM

We pay for the greed of others.
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jpj23
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:18:00 PM

I like the idea of awarding punitive damages to companies that don't enforce the no-cellphone or no-texting policies. In California there was a head-on collision between a passenger and freight train a couple years ago that resulted in dozens dead. The passenger train driver was texting and missed the red signals. Install cellphone jammers on the trucks and trains if you have to.
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Blazer197
Champion Author New Haven

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:18:00 PM

Things go better with Coca Cola.
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snakebitef22
All-Star Author Corpus Christi

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:16:49 PM

We are the only looser in this we pay higher insurance premiums to pay for that law suit....
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NorthglennBill
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:16:38 PM

Cell phones are even more dangerous when the operator is driving a LARGE vehicle - but then I see cops driving around in their police cars talking on their cell phones all the time.
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rjd1608
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:15:07 PM

ok
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Sapper08
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:13:56 PM

Severe pain? 24 million?
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smoketown
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:12:17 PM

WOW......
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Lologogo
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:11:09 PM

People sue way too much & lawyers are the ones benefiting the most
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SpankyMI
Champion Author Kalamazoo

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:10:57 PM

Yes, another way to hit the lotto.
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methaneman
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:10:22 PM

One way to get the message accoss!
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JagXKR
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:07:32 PM

Negligence needs to be punished.
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mconley1967
All-Star Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:07:19 PM

ok
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btcscoc1
All-Star Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:07:00 PM

ok
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Insuremn
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:06:36 PM

Coca-Cola will appeal this.
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kuma2000
Champion Author Honolulu

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:01:49 PM

bust 'em
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tarheelcoastie
Champion Author Greensboro

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:00:56 PM

yep
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GManCo
Champion Author Colorado Springs

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 12:00:02 PM

All drivers face liability when driving distracted.
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jimdot
Rookie Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 11:59:46 AM

And the price of Coke goes up.

But it's still cheaper to drink than drive !
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sivart
Champion Author Arkansas

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 11:59:37 AM

Should be against the law to use cell phones in any manner except when stopped or hands-free!!!
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flydudemi
All-Star Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 11:57:54 AM

coke yea
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