By VIC SPROUSE
CHARLESTON -- If you are a West Virginia business - LOOK OUT! Because the lottery judicial system we have is just around the corner barrelling toward you.
Did anyone see this absolutely stunning jury verdict laid down in the case of a Hernshaw man ran over by a delivery truck at Go-Mart in Marmet?
Here are the basics.
The dude had a 0.296 blood alcohol content. That's 3.5 times the legal limit, and I'm not sure if I've ever heard anyone knocking down nearly a 0.3. Wow. To get to that level, a toxicologist said the guy had to have drank between 12-13 beers before the accident.
So, the guy is 0.3, drunk as a skunk, and decides to lay down underneath a delivery truck at a local Go-Mart. Smart move, of course.
The truck driver makes his delivery to the local Go-Mart, gets in his cab, looks in the mirrors to make sure everything is OK and pulls out.
Needless to say, if you are a trucker making a delivery, you're probably not thinking that some drunk may have camped out under your truck.
So, the driver pulls away and tears the guy's leg off because, well, HE IS LAYING UNDER THE TRUCK.
What does the driver do? He notices a bump, looks back, sees the guy laying there and rushes back to the store. Not only that, he is a trained medic and the truck driver administered first aid to the guy and probably saved his life.
So, a Kanawha County jury decided that ...
1. The truck driver was negligent. Why? Well, I guess because he didn't notice the drunk laying underneath his truck.
2. The trucking company was negligent. Why? Well, I guess because they didn't make a truck that had an automatic 'drunk-guy-laying-underneath-the-truck' device that would alarm when someone with a 0.3 BAC decides to lay underneath your truck.
3. That Go-Mart was negligent. Why? Well ... well ... well, probably because the jury figured they were the only ones with enough money to give the drunk guy $3 million. Well, and I guess they could put loafer spikes that retracted as a delivery truck rolled over them, engaged after it did to prevent any drunks from laying underneath the truck while it idled, and then retracted again as the truck pulled out.
The jury found all the parties equally negligent and awarded the dude three cool ones.
Little did the guy know that night went he went on a bender, knocking down 12-13 beers, getting so drunk he didn't know where he was, that he'd see a cool $3 million payday.
And, West Virginia isn't a judicial hellhole?
Tell that one to Go-Mart.