Case details

Pizza delivery person’s unsafe turn caused death, parents claimed




Mediated Settlement

Result type

Not present

blunt force trauma to the head, head, multiple blunt force trauma
On Oct. 12, 2013, plaintiff’s decedent Adrian De La Cruz, 22, a server and college student, was riding his motorcycle on Rider Street, in Perris. As he was traveling in the right lane, near the intersection with Evan Road, he was struck by a sedan that was driven by Giovanni Smith Macias, who was attempting to make a right turn from the left lane. De La Cruz ultimately died from his . The decedent’s parents, Sergio De La Cruz and Dolores De La Cruz, sued Macias and the owner of Macias’ vehicle, Jose Perez. They also sued Macias’s employer, 10 Point Pizza Inc., and its franchisor, Domino’s Pizza. As a result, claims were brought against a number of affiliated Domino’s Pizza corporate entities. The decedent’s parents alleged that Macias was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, causing their son’s wrongful death. They also alleged that Perez was vicariously liable for Macias’ actions and that 10 Point Pizza and the Domino’s Pizza corporate entities were liable for the decedant’s wrongful death under the theory of respondeat superior. The claims against Perez and a number of the Domino’s Pizza entities were ultimately discontinued. Thus, the matter proceeded against Domino’s Pizza LLC, Domino’s Pizza Inc., Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC, 10 Point Pizza Inc., and Macias. Plaintiffs’ counsel asserted that Macias was negligent in failing to maintain a proper lookout, and failing to use reasonable care to complete a safe lane change and right turn. Counsel contended that Macias may have been on his cell phone prior to the moment of impact and, thus, contended that Macias was distracted. Counsel further contended that the corporate defendants were vicariously liable for Macias’s actions, since he was acting in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. The plaintiffs’ accident reconstruction expert opined that the accident was caused by the Macias’ unsafe lane change. The plaintiff’s biomechanical expert opined that the impact’s force caused the decedent’s death. Defense counsel asserted that the decedent was speeding above the 45 mph legal limit, in that he was traveling at approximately 68 mph. Counsel also asserted that the decedents’ motorcycle’s headlight was not fully operational at the time of the incident. Counsel for the Domino’s entities claimed that the Domino’s companies were not liable for the accident under respondent superior because the franchisor liability statute did not apply under state law. Thus, the Domino’s defendants sought express indemnity from 10 Point Pizza., Adrian De La Cruz sustained multiple blunt force trauma as a result of the accident. He was subsequently pronounced dead within 24 hours of the accident at a local hospital’s emergency room. He was 22. The decedent was survived by his mother and father. The decedent’s parents sought recovery of wrongful death damages, and recovery of damages for their loss of consortium and loss of their son’s future support.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

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