Pizza Hut Loses Lawsuit over Delivery Driver Crash, Jury Awards Family $10.8 Million

Pizza Hut, Inc. has lost a $10.8 million lawsuit in a San Diego Superior Courtroom.  The jury returned the verdict holding the company responsible for a delivery driver’s accident, which caused a near fatal crash leaving an 87-year-old woman with a severe spinal fracture and her daughter with permanent brain damage.

On November 9, 2008 Nicole Fisk, 18, drifted across the lane while on a delivery and collided head on with the vehicle containing 87-year-old Olena Marie Novak and her daughter Shari Marie Novak.  The daughter now requires round the clock care due to the permanent brain damage suffered in the crash.

Immediately after the crash, Pizza Hut claimed that their driver had experienced a seizure caused by undiagnosed epilepsy, which caused the collision.  Pizza claimed she had a “sudden medical emergency”, which is a defense for negligence under California law.

The Novak family attorneys say the driver knew she had the medical condition and placed the blame on Pizza Hut for failing to ensure the teen could drive a car safely as a professional driver.  Only 18 at the time of the crash, Fisk only had her driver’s license for three months and a history of “blackouts” and “staring spells” prior to the crash.

The jury agreed with the Novak’s attorneys and awarded the families the $10.8 million settlement.  Olena Novak was awarded $2.2 million, while Shari Novak was awarded the remaining $8.6 million.

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