Despite the fact that its fact pattern reads like something from a television reality show gone horribly awry, an unusual negligence case from Ohio has some practical applications for truck wrecks in San Antonio.
The dispute in Blank-Greer v. Tannerite Sports, LLC began innocently enough, as two friends discussed how to best celebrate the pending arrival of a new baby in May 2012. One man suggested that they hold a “diaper shootout,” during which the partygoers could bring diapers for the new baby, and spend the day shooting guns in the backyard. It gets better. Another person recommended that the group blow up a refrigerator for the “grand finale.”
Rather predictably, the event ended badly. One man used a truck commonly utilized for his business to haul the doomed appliance to the targeting area. The end result was almost catastrophic. When the explosives detonated, the refrigerator “immediately blew apart and sent shrapnel flying across the yard.” A large piece hit the plaintiff in the hand, and nearly severed it. Sixteen reconstructive surgeries later, she is still only able to wiggle her thumb, and doctors do not believe her hand will improve.
Curiously, the injured victim sued the business owned by the man who offered the use of the truck, under the theory that by doing so, the man was therefore acting within the course and scope of his employment at the time of the incident.
Although the court acknowledged that there was a professional component in the relationship, the judge ruled that the man “was not acting solely with respect to his business, his activities that day were outside the scope of his insurance contract with Auto–Owners.”
As a footnote, the victim is contemplating a defective products lawsuit against the manufacturer of the exploding rifle targets, which would allege that these products are inherently dangerous.
Many times, particularly in serious vehicle collisions, there are multiple parties that may be responsible. An attorney’s job is to select a course of action that maximizes the plaintiff’s ability to receive fair compensation. Based on the facts, it appears that respondeat superior was simply the wrong avenue to pursue. Hopefully, the victim can get compensation for her injuries before the statute of limitations expires, but it may already be too late.
Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney, because you have a limited amount of time to act.