A New Mexico man recently agreed to a $200,000 cash settlement with Memphis, Tennessee-based AutoZone, following the death of his three-year-old daughter in the auto parts retailer’s parking lot. In February 2011, Daniel Bejarano’s youngest daughter, Jazzmynn, died after being crushed between the exterior wall of an AutoZone store and her father’s pickup truck in the store’s parking lot. Both Bejarano and local police reported that the girl was killed when her father’s pickup truck rolled forward and crushed her against the exterior wall of the store, in a section of the parking lot where there are no parking blocks or posts installed. If you have lost a loved one in an accident that you believe was caused by the negligence of another person or party in Tennessee, contact our wrongful death attorneys at Michael D. Ponce & Associates to discuss your legal options.
Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against AutoZone
According to Bejarano, he had just bought the 1988 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck and was visiting the AutoZone store to have the truck’s transmission checked. Although Bejarano says the pickup truck’s parking brake was engaged, police reported that when he got out of the vehicle, it rolled forward and struck and pinned the three-year-old girl, who was standing on the sidewalk in front of the truck’s parking spot. Following the girl’s tragic death, Bejarano filed a wrongful death suit in federal court, alleging that AutoZone knew the design of the store’s parking lot was faulty and had caused previous injuries at other locations. In order to reduce the risk of future accidents, Bejarano offered to donate parking blocks to the store, but his offer was refused by AutoZone’s corporate office.
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Red bollards, which are vertical posts, protect the walls of the AutoZone store, separating them from most of the parking lot. However, a section of parking spaces along the west side of the store don’t have bollards in front of them, nor do they have parking blocks on the ground, although there is a sloped curb. This is where the girl’s tragic death occurred, and Bejarano says that refurbishing the store’s parking lot and adding parking blocks could prevent similar accidents in the future. AutoZone agreed to a $200,000 settlement with Bejarano, but the girl’s father reports, “They still refused to put parking blocks.” If you have lost a loved one in a Tennessee accident allegedly caused by negligence, consult our reputable lawyers at Michael D. Ponce & Associates for legal help. You may have grounds to file a wrongful death suit against the at-fault person or party, in order to pursue financial compensation for your losses.