A man is suing Amazon after a collision with one of their delivery trucks led to him losing his leg. He claims the company is setting unrealistic expectations for delivery drivers, and it is leading to carelessness behind the wheel.
The Virginian-Pilot reports North Carolina native Justin Hartley was riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle in Virginia Beach last October when the collision occurred. The rented Hertz truck with an Amazon logo on the side turned directly into the late he was in, according to the lawsuit.
The truck struck Harley and left him with some pretty substantial injuries, including fractures to his left wrist and left leg. Unfortunately, doctors weren’t able to save the leg, and it was amputated below the knee.
The driver for Jeff Bezos’s company, Christopher Gill, told police that at the time of the crash he was looking down at GPS directors that were supplied by Amazon on an Amazon-supplied navigation device, according to the lawsuit.
“The unrealistic expectations that are put on the drivers are fueling these negligence cases,” Kevin Biniazan, Hartley’s lawyer, said. “The driver was so entranced in making his delivery that he did not see our client.”
Basically, Amazon is pushing their drivers too hard to meet goals and expectations. It is causing them to rush, lose focus, and cause dangerous situations on the road.
The $100 million lawsuit was filed against Amazon, Amazon Logistics and the driver. It questions the safety of the company’s business model and says “the illegal, improper and careless acts” of the driver were what caused the collision in the first place.
According to the lawsuit, Amazon delivery drivers are required to use the Amazon “Flex App” which manages every aspect of the driver’s route including what directors to take, when to take breaks and lunches, and when to return to the delivery hub.
If a driver falls behind the planned pace during a route, the lawsuit claims Amazon sends a text telling the driver they are “behind the rabbit” and needs to be “rescued” so that “packages on the route are delivered in compliance with Amazon Logistics’ unrealistic and dangerous speed expectations.”
In fact, a driver’s pay can be reduced if they fall “behind the rabbit” too often. Because of this, drivers are becoming distracted, according to the lawsuit.
Amazon has, of course, filed a response in court denying all allegations of negligence for the crash.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Hartley had a long stay in the hospital from the crash and had to undergo a series of surgeries and rehabilitation sessions. He was employed as a welder but is no longer able to work because of his injuries. He is also facing “several hundred thousand dollars of medical expenses.”
This isn’t the first instance of Amazon facing a lawsuit because of delivery driver crashes. In 2021, Bloomberg said Amazon was named as a defendant in nearly 120 motor vehicle injury lawsuits in 35 different states across the country.