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Lawsuits Against Walgreens Are Never As Easy As Victims Would Expect

Walgreens is one of America's most well-known pharmacy brands. What's less well-known is that they also own one of the country's 50 largest private trucking fleets, which they use to deliver pharmaceutical drugs and other goods to their stores. While your local pharmacist may be helpful and friendly, if one of the company's vehicles has injured you, you can expect their attorneys to be anything but.

One well-known case, in which the company first attempted to shift the blame for a crash and then questioned the extent of the plaintiff's injuries, is a cautionary tale for other victims of the company's negligence. While this case was ultimately resolved successfully, doing so required extensive legal efforts. Dallas 18-wheeler attorney Michael Grossman explains.

Questions Answered on This Page:

  • What is Walgreens' trucking division?
  • How many crashes involving injury or death has the company's fleet been involved in?
  • What does the company's behavior in the Morris case suggest for victims?

Crash statistics courtesy the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

What is Walgreens' Trucking Division?

Walgreens' trucking division, Walgreens Oshkosh Inc., is the 39th largest private trucking fleet in the U.S., with 1,000 semi-trucks driven by 1,300 drivers, which traveled almost 85 million miles in 2018. The parent company generated total revenues of $118 billion that year.

Over the last two years, federal government data indicates the company's vehicles have been involved in 88 crashes, of which 27 have led to injury and 1 resulted in at least one person's death. To be clear, this data doesn't show who was at fault for any of these wrecks, only that they involved a driver for Walgreens.

While in many cases, the outcome may be all of the information available about these collisions, if one of them leads to a lawsuit, it can shed a fair amount of light on the company's general approach to litigation. While their behavior in the Morris case was relatively standard among trucking company defense tactics, that just goes to show that these businesses have very few limits as they attempt to avoid liability.

What Victims Can Learn From The Morris Case

If there's one thing that remains constant across all of the commercial vehicle accident cases we've litigated, it's that trucking companies never accept responsibility until the plaintiff convinces them they can prove the company's liability to a jury. And, as this case indicates, if they can't successfully deflect blame onto you or someone else, they can always challenge the basis of your claim for damages or attack you and your family's credibility.

These tactics are amply illustrated by a case involving a Walgreens truck and an injured longshoreman, Morris v. Walgreen Oshkosh, Inc. (To be clear, our firm was not a part of this case.) It began on Interstate 5, near Tumwater, WA, with Josh Morris' Honda Civic traveling south in the right lane of the highway. As the Walgreens semi-truck attempted to change from the middle to the right lane, it struck Mr. Morris' car on the left rear corner, sending it into a jersey barrier and back into the road, where it was struck by the semi's jackknifing trailer.

Mr. Morris' attorneys alleged that the collision caused him extensive injuries, including soft tissue injuries to much of his body; lumbar and cervical radiculopathies requiring surgery; and severe emotional stress, including PTSD and Pain Disorder.

As the subsequent civil suit began, Walgreens initially attempted to claim, incredibly, that Mr. Morris was responsible for the crash. With trial about to begin, presumably seeing the writing on the wall, they finally admitted their responsibility and shifted their tack to challenging the validity of Mr. Morris' injuries, claiming that those to his left leg and right arm were the result of a preexisting condition. His attorneys were eventually able to demonstrate clear differences between the complications caused by the injuries sustained in the crash and those stemming from a previously diagnosed spinal issue.

We've seen plenty of "open-and-shut cases" where the crash was supposedly caused by vanishing mystery cars, the sun in a driver's eyes, or the reflections of a nearby ambulance lights.

After days of expert testimony, a jury ultimately awarded Mr. Morris more than $4 million in damages, including compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity due to his inability to return to his former occupation, and physical limitations affecting his everyday life.

Upon hearing the initial details of the crash that spurred this case, you may have thought there was no way the company could dispute their driver's responsibility for what happened. But there's always an avenue for any defense attorney worth his salt to find a way to protect his client from liability, especially if they don't think you have the ability to prove them wrong. We've seen plenty of "open-and-shut cases" where the crash was supposedly caused by vanishing mystery cars, the sun in a driver's eyes, or the reflections of a nearby ambulance lights.

This case also illustrates another common trucking company defense tactic you should be prepared to counter: suggesting that your injuries were the result of a pre-existing medical condition rather than the crash. While you may know that there was a clear separation between the extent of your suffering before and after the wreck, it takes experienced legal help to prove that through testimony and documentation from medical experts and treating physicians.

In short, there's no case strong enough to prevail without an attorney in your corner able to fight back against the strategies of the trucking company's defense team and obtain the evidence required to prove what actually happened and the extent of the damages you suffered.

Grossman Law Offices Has the Experience to Litigate Your Case Against Walgreens

While every case is different, and the strategies required vary accordingly, you can be sure that there are hundreds of potential issues to deal with on the path to a favorable resolution. That means it's in your best interest to obtain legal assistance able to overcome all of the obstacles they might present.

At Grossman Law Offices, we've been successfully litigating commercial vehicle accident claims for almost thirty years, giving us a level of experience that few can match. That means it's very difficult for a trucking company's attorneys to take us by surprise, and we're ready to do all of the work required, from gathering evidence to presenting it at trial.

If you've been injured or lost a loved one in a crash involving a Walgreens semi-truck, please call (855-326-0000 to find out how our attorneys can help you. We're ready to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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