The SE Texas Record Nov. 14, 2016, 10:10pm


Don't want to discuss it
I think it's time for a change
You may get disgusted
Start thinkin' that I'm strange

The lyrics to Van Morrison's 1970 hit sum up pretty well how Provost Umphrey attorney Paul Ferguson Jr. must be feeling, now that the High Court has affirmed the reversal of a $32 million settlement he won against a national pizza chain three years ago.

Oh, oh, Domino!

Ferguson filed suit in Jefferson County District Court in 2013 against Domino’s Pizza, et al. on behalf of the estate of a married couple whose vehicle was struck head-on on S. Major Drive in Beaumont when a pizza delivery boy’s car crossed the center line. Ferguson convinced the jury that Domino’s was somehow responsible for this terrible accident and they awarded $32 million to the estate.

With a history of suing blameless parties simply because they have assets, Ferguson didn't seem to care that the delivery boy was driving his own car – with worn tires in bad weather – and that the chain exercises no day-to-day supervision over the operations of its franchisees. The jurors didn't seem to care either.

Last year, the Texas Ninth Court of Appeals dismissed Domino’s from the lawsuit, concluding that  “the evidence is legally insufficient to support the jury’s finding that Domino’s controlled or had the right to control the details of the injury-producing acts or omissions of [the franchisee] and its employees.”

Prior to the trial, defendant MAC Pizza settled with the plaintiff, leaving Domino’s as the feature defendant.

This Halloween, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Ferguson's petition for a writ of certiorari and the case came to an end.Anyone feeling sorry for Ferguson can call one of the 65 Domino's outlets in our area and have a pizza delivered to his office.

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