Dealership Allows Drunken Employee to Drive Customer’s Car
Westside Dodge had fired Sebastian Saldate for lying about using customers’ cars. River City Chrysler Plymouth hired him without checking this record and then allowed him to use its customers’ cars. Indeed, on the evening of his accident, one of Saldate’s supervisors saw him drinking and did nothing to stop him from driving off with a customer’s vehicle.
John Doe and Jim Doe were in the car driven by Saldate when he tried to pass a Moon Garage tow truck on Normandy Boulevard in Jacksonville. The tow truck driver claimed he had turned on his blinker, but had not begun his turn at the time of the collision. However, the accident reconstruction by Pajcic & Pajcic proved the Moon Garage truck had turned left into Saldate’s path as he was passing.
John Doe suffered minor injuries, but Jim Doe’s ankle was severely fractured and has not yet fused back into place. The insurance company for River City and Moon first paid John $50,000 and then finally, in August 1997, paid Jim $450,000 shortly before the third mediation of the case.