The Orange Leader
BEAUMONT, Texas —
A Beaumont, Texas jury has determined the negligence of Dominos Pizza resulted in a deadly car accident caused by a pizza delivery driver. A Dominos delivery driver lost control of his vehicle and hit a car carrying Devavaram and Ruth Christopher of Beaumont on August 11, 2012. Ruth Christopher died the following morning and Devavaram was left with a permanent traumatic brain injury.
The cause of the accident was later determined to be the defective, worn tires on the delivery vehicle, one of which was without any tread. The delivery driver, rushing to meet Dominos Pizza's internal 30-minute delivery rule, was also cited for Failure to Control Speed. Ruth Christopher was 65 years old and Devavaram Christopher is now 70. The couple had spent the last 20 years of their life serving as Christian missionaries.
"We learned that Dominos has a very broad, undefined corporate policy that delivery drivers' vehicles should be inspected," says Provost Umphrey attorney Chip Ferguson. "However, Dominos does not enforce this policy with their franchises, and that led to the accident that took the life of Ruth Christopher and permanently disabled Devavaram Christopher. We also learned that Domino's enforces a tragically unsafe delivery method by providing bonuses and other incentives for fast delivery."
Chip Ferguson and Larry Hunter of Provost Umphrey represented the Christopher family. The $32 million awarded is strictly actual damages, with no punitive damages included. It is believed to be one of, if not the, largest actual damages verdict ever returned against Dominos Pizza.