The marketing gurus at the major fast food chains here in the U.S. go out of their way to create clever slogans or memorable advertisements in the hopes that potential customers will remember them when debating where to go for lunch, dinner or even breakfast.
Interestingly, one of these major fast food chains is now facing a lawsuit here in West Virginia alleging that its company slogan actually encourages unsafe driving by employees and that this unsafe driving, in turn, resulted in the tragic death of a Morgantown man.
Here, the lawsuit was filed by the daughter of a man who was struck and killed by a delivery driver for Jimmy John's, the popular sandwich-maker, while out walking his dog back on Aug. 19.
According to a police report, the delivery driver admitted to looking at his dashboard clock at the time of the fatal pedestrian accident, while two witnesses described him as driving "very fast" or speeding.
The complaint accuses Jimmy John's of encouraging an unsafe work environment and, by extension, creating unsafe conditions for pedestrians and motorists due to its emphasis on "freaky fast delivery." This slogan is found in company advertisements, on its corporate website, and on social media accounts to name only a few.
"When you create an environment in which you're encouraging your drivers to be 'freaky fast,' it's inevitable that that 'freaky fast' driving will cause harm," said the attorney representing the daughter.
Interestingly, Domino's Pizza was hit with a similar lawsuit back in 1993 after a woman was injured in a car accident caused by a delivery driver. Here, she alleged that the pizza giant's 30-minute delivery policy resulted in dangerous driving practices by its delivery drivers. While Domino's Pizza ultimately settled out of court, it did stop its 30-minute guarantee shortly thereafter.
It's worth noting that Jimmy John's is actually facing another lawsuit alleging that it encouraged unsafe driving practices. Here, an Illinois man filed the lawsuit after being involved in a motorcycle accident caused by an allegedly speeding Jimmy John's driver. While the case was initially dismissed, a state appellate court recently overruled and the matter is expected to move forward.
It should be interesting to see how this case unfolds here in West Virginia. Stay tuned for updates ...
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, truck accident or other motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.
Source: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Jimmy John's sued in pedestrian's death," Richard Webner, Feb. 5, 2014