On August 4, 2022, Richard Barra, a husband and father of three young children, was killed when an Amazon delivery driver improperly turned left and struck him. But the insurance company was quick to point out that it only insured South Sound Last Mile LLC, which rented the Amazon Van from Amazon Logistics which says it is a different company than Amazon. Amazon it seemed was off the hook.
The Stritmatter Firm filed a Complaint for wrongful death and damages against Amazon on October 12th in Pierce County Superior Court, which alleges:
“Amazon also claims that Last Mile Amazon delivery drivers are not part of Amazon. Even though they wear Amazon uniforms, drive Amazon vans, are trained according to Amazon standards at Amazon training facilities, pick up packages at Amazon, follow the instructions of an Amazon app to deliver the packages, have their routes and activities monitored by Amazon, and at the end of a successful delivery can be thanked by a happy Amazon customer who tells an Amazon AI product to do so.
In an attempt to avoid legal liability for injuring or in this case killing members of the publics who are also entitled to use the roadways, Amazon created an elaborate middle-person program. A driver under strict requirement to deliver 999 of 1,000 packages on time, is in a constant state of rushing. If that driver fails to take the time to drive safely, and negligently hits and kills someone, Amazon claims the middle-person – not Amazon – is responsible to pay any insurance claim.
Amazon’s scheme of populating the world’s roadways with delivery vans in a rush may make customers happy. But the risk to the lives of others. The devastation wrought upon families who lose their beloveds to poor judgment calls by jittery delivery drivers always in a hurry. Those consequences cannot, under the concept of vicarious liability, be legally pawned off onto the shoulders of those people and small businesses, whom Amazon has set up to take the fall. and damages”.