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What Victims Need to Know About Suits Against PepsiCo

If you've been involved in a collision involving a commercial vehicle, your most pressing concerns are probably recovering from your injuries and keeping the lights on. That doesn't leave a lot of room for worrying about how the corporate structure of the company involved could affect your ability to recover for your losses.

Unfortunately, that lack of familiarity could leave you with far less than you deserve for what you've been through. While the logo on the side of each truck may say "Pepsi," because PepsiCo uses a host of local franchises to deliver its food and beverage products, it will likely require experienced legal help to determine which company was actually responsible for the vehicle that hit you. Acclaimed Dallas semi-truck accident attorney Michael Grossman explains.

Questions Answered On This Page:

  • What is PepsiCo, Inc?
  • How does the structure of the company's delivery fleet affect claims against them?
  • How can the right legal representation help victims hold PepsiCo accountable?

What is Pepsi Co?

You're probably already familiar with PepsiCo and some of its many popular products, including Pepsi and Doritos. But you probably weren't aware that they have the largest private trucking fleet in North America, with around 36,000 semi-trucks, 11,000 tractors, and more than 20,000 smaller support vehicles. Its total annual sales in 2018 were almost $64 billion.

Because of the company's unique fleet structure, which is divided among more than a thousand franchises, it's difficult to determine exactly how many wrecks their vehicles have caused. However, given the sheer number of PepsiCo vehicles on the roads, it's virtually certain that at least some percentage of them have caused crashes leading to injuries or deaths.

How Does Pepsi's Franchised Delivery Structure Affect Your Case?

Most people don't think too much about how the food products and beverages they consume get from their places of manufacture and packaging to supermarket shelves. In most cases, the answer is commercial drivers, and this is also true of PepsiCo. While the company owns the syrup that gives the soda its flavor, both the actual "bottling" of the soda and its delivery to retail establishments has traditionally been done by franchises across the country.

However, this arrangement underwent a significant change in 2009, when PepsiCo purchased its two largest franchise bottlers, bringing their entire operations under the company's umbrella. This means that 80% of the company's bottling operations are now under its control. If the vehicle that hit you was part of this acquisition, PepsiCo itself would be responsible for any losses you've suffered, because employers are responsible for the negligent acts of their empolyees.

However, there are still plenty of franchise bottlers out there running their own operations who weren't included in this acquisition. While they may still have the Pepsi logo on the side of their trucks, the corporate behemoth behind that logo isn't necessarily supervising the transportation side of the franchisee's business.

As you might expect, establishing whether a parent company exercised enough control over a franchise's operations to share liability for its actions isn't an easy task.

Why does this matter to you as someone hurt in a crash with one of these vehicles? Mainly because it has a significant effect on the legal process required to obtain compensation for your injuries. If a franchise's driver was operating the delivery truck at the time of the wreck, but the parent company set guidelines for how that driver conducted their business, PepsiCo itself could be held responsible for your losses. If the franchise was mostly left in charge of its own drivers, you would need to go after that company's assets instead.

As you might expect, establishing whether a parent company exercised enough control over a franchise's operations to share liability for its actions isn't an easy task. It requires an attorney able to obtain and properly examine a host of evidence, including internal documents indicating the relationship between the companies and their drivers.

Of course, given that whichever company bears responsibility for the crash stands to lose a lot from that evidence being released, they won't do so until they're forced to. That means having an attorney draft a valid subpoena that compels them to turn over any evidence needed to prove your case.

Grossman Law Offices Can Make A Difference for Your Case

Whether it's multi-billion dollar company like PepsiCo or a much smaller bottling franchise, just about any trucking company has much more in the way of resources and experience to defend against a civil suit than you have to press your case against them. That makes it incredibly important not to try and take these companies on alone.

Just as important as seeking out legal help is making sure whichever firm you choose is fully prepared for all of the challenges that go along with taking on these complex cases. At Grossman Law Offices, we've successfully litigated hundreds of injury and wrongful death cases involving commercial vehicles, even winning against some of the largest companies in the business.

If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a collision involving a PepsiCo commercial vehicle, please call 855-326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help you. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call.

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