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Chicopee family awarded $32.3 million in wrongful death suit against Cumberland Farms

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posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 08:57 AM
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A Hampden Superior Court jury awarded $32.3 million Tuesday to the family of a woman killed when a motorist crashed into a Cumberland Farms store in Chicopee in 2010.

Chicopee family awarded $32.3 million in wrongful death suit against Cumberland Farms

I wasn't exactly sure where to post this one. If the mods know of a better place, please move
.



In the Cumberland Farms case, an elderly motorist drove his SUV at more than 70 mph into the store at Grove and Front streets, killing Dubuque, then 43 and director of finance at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The driver suffered a stroke, and was not prosecuted in Dubuque's death.

The victim's family sued Cumberland Farms Inc., claiming that the site was dangerous and barriers should have been installed to prevent vehicles from colliding with the building.


This is a case that I think is pretty asinine if you ask me. The family is suing Cumberland Farms, a family owned chain of convenience store / gas stations throughout New England, for negligence saying that the store should have put barriers up to protect customers from cars. A driver, who suffered a stroke, drove his car into the building and killed a woman who was in there shipping. To me this seems like a freak accident, and honestly do not see how Cumberland Farms should be held accountable. I am afraid that something like this occurs and then more and more people will find reasons to sue.


Lawyers for Cumberland Farms denied negligence and called Dubuque's death a tragic accident. No federal, state or local regulations required the corporation to install barriers outside the store, the defendants said.




In his opening statement, Egan told jurors the store's apex-type driveway posed a safety risk, with vehicles driving directly at the store and no barriers protecting against a crash. "It was like an invitation and in this case... it turned out to be a deadly invitation," Egan said.

With convenience stores from Maine to Florida, Cumberland Farms had the corporate assets to spend on safety precautions, Egan said.

Defense attorney Richard P. Campbell told jurors in his opening statement that Cumberland Farms was founded by a husband and wife team and remains a family-owned company.


So even though Cumberland Farms cited that there are no regulations requiring the store have barriers (and there were no accidents at this location since it was opened in 1974, they still found Cumberland Farms responsible for the accident. This is interesting. I wish I could have heard some of the deliberation and the trial.


The verdict, delivered Tuesday afternoon, capped a three-week trial. By a 10-2 margin, jurors found that Cumberland Farms was negligent and awarded $32, 369,024 to the Dubuque family.



So what do you think ATS... was the family right in suing the store for negligence due to the death of their family member... was the jury right for awarding this insanely high amount of money...?




posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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And people wonder why it's hard to run a business in america.
But I'm sure Cumberland was an evil corporation.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 09:59 AM
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The thing is though some locations do have barriers. I'm wondering if the outcome would be different if they all had them or all did not?



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 10:13 AM
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While I don't think barriers/bollards should be "required" to be put up by stores that have parking in the front, it has in fact become a very common thing to see, such as the black tube bollards in the image below of a "Sheetz" convenience store:



I don't think I've ever seen a Sheetz store without these barriers, and I've seen their use becoming more and more common in similar parking situations.


edit on 2/24/2016 by Box of Rain because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: Box of Rain


The article said the driver was going 70mph. I doubt the barriers would have even slowed a 5000 pound SUV.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 10:33 AM
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originally posted by: Brotherman
The thing is though some locations do have barriers. I'm wondering if the outcome would be different if they all had them or all did not?


It probably would have, but they are not legally obligated to have them, so it's neither here or there. This suit is asinine.

POS family just wants money, it ain't gonna bring the woman back, they don't care all they see is $$$ surprised they didn't try and sue the poor old stroke victim too.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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a reply to: Psychonautics

will the family owned company try to appeal??? I think there should be barriers,yes it is sad what happened, it was an accident.... that award seems really high to me, though



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 10:47 AM
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originally posted by: research100
a reply to: Psychonautics

will the family owned company try to appeal??? I think there should be barriers,yes it is sad what happened, it was an accident.... that award seems really high to me, though


I think they should have barriers as well, but since they are not legally obligated, I don't understand how they were legally found responsible.

Makes no sense. It was a bad accident, are we gonna start putting barriers everywhere a car could possibly go?



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 10:50 AM
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I see this just the same as a plane crashing into a wall mart and people suing for not having a plane crash proof roof.

Gonna have to start signing shop at your own risk waivers, or stores are gonna have to armor up, or else lawsuit!



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 11:00 AM
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originally posted by: Psychonautics

originally posted by: research100
a reply to: Psychonautics

will the family owned company try to appeal??? I think there should be barriers,yes it is sad what happened, it was an accident.... that award seems really high to me, though


I think they should have barriers as well, but since they are not legally obligated, I don't understand how they were legally found responsible.

Makes no sense. It was a bad accident, are we gonna start putting barriers everywhere a car could possibly go?


They weren't found "legally" responsible. It was a civil suit, not a criminal suit.

You can do something legal but still be found liable or negligent in a civil court.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 11:07 AM
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originally posted by: Box of Rain

originally posted by: Psychonautics

originally posted by: research100
a reply to: Psychonautics

will the family owned company try to appeal??? I think there should be barriers,yes it is sad what happened, it was an accident.... that award seems really high to me, though




I think they should have barriers as well, but since they are not legally obligated, I don't understand how they were legally found responsible.

Makes no sense. It was a bad accident, are we gonna start putting barriers everywhere a car could possibly go?


They weren't found "legally" responsible. It was a civil suit, not a criminal suit.

You can do something legal but still be found liable or negligent in a civil court.



Yes, as it clearly happened that way.

I'm just saying I find it odd that they were not legally obliged to have something, but, I'm a court of LAW they were found negligent by not having the barriers....

I mean, what's the point of laws once you start going down that road.

Well, you didn't go anything legally wrong, but you're still just wrong. Sorry!
edit on 24-2-2016 by Psychonautics because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 11:16 AM
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originally posted by: Psychonautics

originally posted by: Box of Rain

originally posted by: Psychonautics

originally posted by: research100
a reply to: Psychonautics

will the family owned company try to appeal??? I think there should be barriers,yes it is sad what happened, it was an accident.... that award seems really high to me, though




I think they should have barriers as well, but since they are not legally obligated, I don't understand how they were legally found responsible.

Makes no sense. It was a bad accident, are we gonna start putting barriers everywhere a car could possibly go?


They weren't found "legally" responsible. It was a civil suit, not a criminal suit.

You can do something legal but still be found liable or negligent in a civil court.



Yes, as it clearly happened that way.

I'm just saying I find it odd that they were not legally obliged to have something, but, I'm a court of LAW they were found negligent by not having the barriers....

I mean, what's the point of laws once you start going down that road.

Well, you didn't go anything legally wrong, but you're still just wrong. Sorry!

Because what the government "requires" a company to do versus what a company "should" do can be two different things.

Government regulations are often just for the absolute minimum requirements. However, a person can feel a company should have done more than just the minimum.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 11:25 AM
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originally posted by: Box of Rain

originally posted by: Psychonautics

originally posted by: Box of Rain

originally posted by: Psychonautics

originally posted by: research100
a reply to: Psychonautics

will the family owned company try to appeal??? I think there should be barriers,yes it is sad what happened, it was an accident.... that award seems really high to me, though




I think they should have barriers as well, but since they are not legally obligated, I don't understand how they were legally found responsible.

Makes no sense. It was a bad accident, are we gonna start putting barriers everywhere a car could possibly go?


They weren't found "legally" responsible. It was a civil suit, not a criminal suit.

You can do something legal but still be found liable or negligent in a civil court.



Yes, as it clearly happened that way.

I'm just saying I find it odd that they were not legally obliged to have something, but, I'm a court of LAW they were found negligent by not having the barriers....

I mean, what's the point of laws once you start going down that road.

Well, you didn't go anything legally wrong, but you're still just wrong. Sorry!

Because what the government "requires" a company to do versus what a company "should" do can be two different things.

Government regulations are often just for the absolute minimum requirements. However, a person can feel a company should have done more than just the minimum.



Are we to stop upholding laws in favor of what someone feels?

Are we to now put barriers in front of all businesses?

Are you saying you agree with the ruling?



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 02:25 PM
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a reply to: Box of Rain
Looks like a sheetz I know of in Pennsylvania.



posted on Feb, 24 2016 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: charolais

And in other news...Cumberland Farms files for bankruptcy...



posted on Feb, 25 2016 @ 01:52 AM
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Was this in Mass? It would make sense.



posted on Feb, 25 2016 @ 02:30 AM
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I am mostly commenting on this thread because nearly fifty years ago I was born on an Air Force base in a city called Chicopee... And this is the first time I've ever seen in mentioned in a story about anything.

As for the lawsuit... Owners of private property are ultimately legally liable for things that happen on that property. I see the discussion of barriers are simply legal gymnastics, possibly to get press coverage of the case - either to help sway the decision or, more likely, to get the lawyers a bit of press and notoriety.

My initial feeling is that there will be an appeal and that the award will be pared down substantially once that happens.

Maybe it's a "my generation" thing, but growing up I had a friend whose parents bought a trampoline and ended up sued twice in the same general way.



posted on Feb, 25 2016 @ 03:42 AM
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a reply to: Hefficide

Honestly if they were up to code then there should be some form of prior knowledge that alerted them to the fact they needed to do more. For instance another similar incident.



posted on Feb, 25 2016 @ 04:07 AM
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a reply to: charolais

Wow, people like the fact that 32 million was stolen from a business AND our judicial system got to generate some bills.

Great job nation.



posted on Feb, 25 2016 @ 06:25 AM
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originally posted by: research100
will the family owned company try to appeal???


Without a doubt.

I used to get mental about cases like this until I was talking about the McDonalds coffee in the crotch case at one of my old restaurants and a customer overheard me. He said, 'You do not know the rest', and began to explain that he was the head of the legal team that appealed the judgement down from 2/7million to $640,000 which they then further settled out of court.




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