One case at a time jurors are telling employers that permitting drunk employees to drive company vehicles is wrong, wrong, wrong. The Las Vegas Review-Journal posts the story of the latest verdict/message:
TERRIBLE HERBST: Family awarded $14.1 million – Woman, 58, died when hit by drunken driver in 2001
Rosa Delegado was trying to get into her car on the side of a public street when Darwin Ray Ellison, a Terrible Herbst employee, drove a large company truck into the grandmother from behind. Delegado was pinned against her vehicle, run over and killed.
During a civil trial over the past week, [it was] alleged Terrible Herbst and others were negligent by hiring, through a temporary services agency, a known inebriate, then allowing him to drive the truck that killed Delegado.
Jeffrey Dearman, a manager for facilities for Terrible Herbst, testified in the courtroom of District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez last week that Ellison and several other temporary workers were sent to the business through a temporary employment agency.
On one occasion, Dearman said, Ellison showed up to work smelling of beer.
“Stale beer from the night before,” Dearman said.
“How do you know it was from the night before?” Arin asked.
“I don’t, I guess,” Dearman said.
Dearman also said that on another occasion, Ellison and another temporary worker asked him for permission to drink beer at lunch. Despite this, Dearman said, Ellison was not fired, nor was he disciplined.
“All the temporary employees were wanting (to) drink,” he said.
Dearman said that in yet another instance, he left Ellison and other temporary workers at a Terrible Herbst warehouse unsupervised. As he left, he felt the need to tell them not to drink alcohol.