September 17, 2007
Wrongful Death Suit Against U-Haul
The LA Times reports an interesting case brought against U-Haul by the survivors of a rental customer:
When the parking brake [on the truck he rented] malfunctioned repeatedly, Demetrio T. Nagtalon drove the truck back to the U-Haul rental center in San Francisco to exchange it for another.
After pulling into the check-in area, Nagtalon watched as a U-Haul employee slid under the dashboard with a pliers to tug on the brake cable. The worker left the engine running and the truck on an incline, neglecting to block the wheels.
Suddenly, the truck began rolling downhill. Nagtalon rushed toward it, trying to help. He became pinned between the 4-ton truck and a steel pillar and suffered a crushed pelvis and massive internal bleeding.
Nagtalon, 63, of Daly City, Calif., died at a hospital two hours later.
U-Haul contends that Nagtalon was told to stand clear and was to blame for his own injuries. The Times story notes an earlier series of stories in the paper alleging what it terms "persistent" safety problems with the company's enormous and aging fleet of vehicles.
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