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Michigan Jeep Owner Sued After Vehicle Kills Mechanic During Oil Change



Man Sued After His Jeep Killed Mechanic During Oil Change

Man Sued After His Jeep Killed Mechanic During Oil Change

A Michigan man is facing a lawsuit after his vehicle reportedly killed a mechanic during an oil change at a car dealership.

Sergio Enrique-Diaz Navarro brought his 2019 Jeep Wrangler to a local Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership on March 13, 2020, for an oil change and rotation.

According to FOX News, the service was performed by lube technician Daniel Thompson,19, and after completing the service, he attempted to operate the vehicle. Court records state Thompson lowered the Jeep from a lift and tried to start the car but left it running to make sure there were no leaks.

However, the Jeep moved forward and crushed mechanic Jeffrey Hawkins,42, against a cabinet.

“He pressed the start button. When the vehicle did not start, he took his foot off the brake and depressed the clutch pedal. He again hit the start button. This time the Jeep started. He removed his foot from the clutch, still standing outside the vehicle. The vehicle lurched forward.”

Hawkins was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died from his injuries. A lawsuit was filed against Diaz-Navarro and Thompson at a Michigan circuit court in March 2021. The lawyer for Hawkins’ estate, David Femminineo, said Thompson didn’t know how to operate the vehicle’s manual transmission and didn’t have a driver’s license.

Additionally, the dealership couldn’t be sued because of a legal procedure that prevents employees from suing their boss for negligence. Femminineo says if the verdict works in the estate’s favor, he is expecting a $15 million dollar settlement, FOX 2 explained.

The jeep owner’s lawyer said they plan to fight the case in trial this month. “When you hand your car over to anybody including the valet or the person at the service desk at your local dealership, you better be able to trust that person,” they said in a statement.

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