Service Tire Truck Center Lawsuit
Service Tire Center Litigation
Service Tire Center of Texas is a business venture that was started in 1992 by Richard F. Sandvine, III. Mr. Sandvine realized that he could not drive his truck to all the tire repair shops around town because of the cost. He set up shop in the South Main Street area of Houston and began offering a service similar to that offered by mechanics from other major tire and vehicle repair companies. However, rather than driving his truck from service center to service center, he set up a large warehouse in that location so that whenever an oil change or flat tire was needed, they were all available. The business has since grown and is now one of the best-known chains in the country.
Service Tire Center of Texas was established for the express purpose of providing an alternative to the mechanics in their hometown who often did not have time to perform necessary tire repairs.
To this end, the company paid wages to employees such as an employed carpenter who would work in the center’s garage. This person was responsible for filing the lawsuits that resulted from accidents that arose while working in the service center. In addition, the owner of the company created a board of directors to serve as the entity’s general manager, president, and director.
Mr. Sandvine realized early on in the game that lawsuits were likely to occur. One lawsuit was brought against him by a woman whose husband became injured while working on their flat tire in their driveway.
Mr. Sandvine insured the payment of her husband’s medical bills and even provided her with a personal loan that she used to pay the outstanding balance. The woman, however, filed a suit against Mr. and Mrs. Sandvine charging them with negligence.
Mr. Sandvine was not personally liable for this lawsuit. The owner of the company was responsible because he had failed to provide insurance to his workers that would have protected them from liability in the event of an accident. The owners of the company had repeatedly offered Mr. and Mrs. Sandvine’s son a job at another location, but he had rejected this offer on the basis that he did not want to be forced to work in another state. At the time of filing the lawsuit, Mr. Sandvine was traveling between locations in order to earn enough money to pay his bills.
In seeking to defeat the complaint against him, Mr. Sandvine attempted to argue that he had only provided advertising materials for the company.
The complaint asserted that the owner had not fulfilled his contractual duty of providing services. Mr. Sandvine maintained that he had done so only after the company informed him that the employees of his business had unionized. According to the owner of the company, however, unionization was not an issue because all of the employees were already covered by the company’s insurance.
The owner of the service tire center was not deterred by these arguments.
He continued to pursue Mr. Sandvine with the hope of demonstrating to a judge that he was not liable for injuries that occurred due to negligence on the part of his business’s owner. During the course of the litigation, the owner of the service tire center was successful in having the case moved from county court to the circuit court.
Therein, the case went to trial. The testimony of both witnesses was crucial to the jury’s opinion of the issue of negligence. The testimony of the witnesses indicated that Mr. Sandvine’s service tire center was a very dangerous place. Many employees reported being injured while taking maintenance checks on the tires of other vehicles. Some reports indicated that customers who were injured were unable to return to their cars because their treads were too worn down. Numerous customers claimed that their cars were in such bad shape that they could not even drive the way they wanted to.
The owner of the service center was also questioned about his supervision of the employees’ activities.
Mr. Sandvine maintained that he had instructed employees to report any activity that they saw that violated the terms of the service station’s policy. He also maintained that he had fired those employees who were involved in activities that were illegal. The defense attorney, on the other hand, attempted to paint the owner as an ineffective leader who failed to protect the employees. He presented evidence that other businesses in the area had been hit by storms that left their vehicles damaged or destroyed. Even so, the claim that Mr. Sandvine was ineffective as a leader did not save the company in this case.