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Tampa Family Sues City Over Water Truck That Killed Young Boy

The family of a young boy who was run over by a city water department truck in August 2014 recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and driver alleging negligence was to blame for the boy’s death. The suit, filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, seeks $15,000 from the defendants for their role in the two-year-old’s passing.

According to reports, the truck driver was leaving an apartment complex after visiting a friend while on duty when he struck and killed the young victim. The child was reportedly under the supervision of an adult relative and family friend when he darted out into the street in front of the water truck.

The driver immediately stopped and attempted to aid the child and a security guard at the apartment complex performed CPR to try and save the boy’s life. The boy was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Driver Had Checkered Past

The driver of the city water truck was never charged with a crime or even cited in the accident. Investigators had speculated from the beginning of the case that the boy’s death was a tragic accident. Following the accident, the driver was barred from operating city vehicles but continues to work for the city to this day as utility technician with the water department.

While not cited by law enforcement, the driver was reprimanded by the city for his personal use of a city vehicle while on the job. He received a similar reprimand in April 2013 when he backed his work vehicle into another car at an apartment complex where his girlfriend resided.

The driver in this case also served 7 years in a federal prison for the manufacture and trafficking of cocaine. State law does not allow employers to deny applicants a position based solely on an individual’s criminal background and was hired in 2006.

Florida Comparative Negligence Laws

Although the loss of this young boy’s life is tragic enough, the situation may have been made even more complex due to Florida’s comparative fault statutes. These laws reduce the compensation and liability of other parties should the plaintiff somehow be at fault in their own injury.

In this case, the family may have decided not to seek a higher award because although the driver was using his vehicle for personal use, the child ran into the street while under the supervision of adults. The dollar amount listed in the suit appears to be more consistent with recouping burial costs rather than higher amounts of compensation for lost wages or pain and suffering.

Tampa Wrongful Death Lawsuits

If your family lost a loved one due to the carelessness or negligence of another, you may be able to hold them responsible for their actions by filing Tampa wrongful death lawsuits. For a free consultation about your case, contact The Pendas Law Firm. Our office serves clients throughout Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

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