Fleet Management

Lawsuit Blames UPS Delivery Deadlines

April 12, 2000

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A lawsuit filed against United Parcel Service claims the company's policies regarding delivery deadlines contributed to a fatal accident.

According to the suit, George Tokonitz of Bethlehem, PA, was driving south on the Pennsylvania Turnpike around 4 a.m. last October when he "suddenly and unexpectedly" came across a UPS rig that was across all four lanes of traffic. Tokonitz crashed into the front trailer of the rig. Tokonitz was permanently disabled and his wife suffered fatal injuries.
The truck driver, Franklin McNair of Columbia, SC, has been driving north when he missed his exit and decided to make an illegal U-turn. He got hung up on a guardrail. The suit names McNair as well as UPS.
The lawsuit contends that UPS was negligent for implementing policies that encouraged drivers to operate vehicles in an unsafe manner. The suit says UPS' policy of punishing drivers for late deliveries resulted in them taking unnecessary risks.
UPS and McNair were also alleged to be negligent for failing to post flares or otherwise warn motorists of the tractor-trailer's position across the roadway.

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