Lawsuit Accuses Republic Services, Inc. and its Subsidiary of Negligence, Fraud, and Destroying Evidence.
A lawsuit filed in the State Court of Fulton County accuses Republic Services and its subsidiary, BFI Waste Services, LLC (“BFI”), of destroying evidence despite repeated requests not to do so.
On July 23, 2013, a dump truck belonging to BFI was traveling along an Atlanta expressway when one of its tires exploded, dispersing large tire fragments in the air. Two large fragments struck a nearby Isuzu truck carrying two passengers–one fragment hit its windshield, while the other lodged beneath the Isuzu truck. The driver of the Isuzu truck, fearful for his life, abruptly steered his truck to the left in an attempt to avoid the tire fragment that was heading for his windshield.
As a result of the abrupt steer, the driver lost control, and the driver and the passenger were thrown around. Both of the fragments nevertheless struck the Isuzu, and both the driver and the passenger sustained injuries. The Isuzu truck was also damaged.The driver and passenger promptly hired an attorney to represent them in collecting damages for their injuries. The attorney immediately faxed a spoliation letter to BFI instructing it to preserve all the evidence pertaining to the litigation, including the exploded tire.
BFI acknowledged receipt of the spoliation letter and stated that it is conducting its investigation. Plaintiffs’ attorney again emailed the spoliation letter to BFI. Two weeks later, Plaintiffs’ attorney again emailed BFI the spoliation letter reminding it of its duty to preserve the exploded tire. About a month later, Plaintiffs’ attorney requested for the location of the exploded tire so that Plaintiffs’ investigators can come and inspect the tire. BFI agreed that it would set a convenient date for the inspection.
Six days later, BFI called Plaintiffs’ attorney and said that a third party allegedly destroyed the exploded tire. BFI also followed with a letter admitting the destruction of the exploded tire. The letter said, ” regretfully we received notice that the [exploded] tire was destroyed while in the care, control, and custody of Atlanta Tire.” Atlanta Tire is the third party that allegedly destroyed the exploded tire.
About six days later, in what appears to be comedic, BFI sent Plaintiffs’ attorney a letter denying liability. In the letter BFI stated that its own investigators investigated the incident and concluded that the tire exploded because of “road hazards which consists of potholes, debris, substances, materials and objects that are foreign to the normal roadway.” Plaintiffs’ attorney immediately filed suit in the State Court of Fulton County.
Below are pictures of the exploded tire