Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Kills Pedestrian While Simultaneously Driving and Using Laptop

ByMichael Talve, CEO


Updated on January 8, 2022

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Kills Pedestrian While Simultaneously Driving and Using Laptop

This case involves a motor vehicle accident which took place while a pharmaceutical sales representative for a large, Fortune 500 company, used her laptop while driving. The plaintiff was struck by the sales representative’s vehicle as she walked through a crosswalk at a red light; the representative, distracted by her laptop, failed to notice that the light had turned red. While the company didn’t permit their employees to work on computerized tablets while driving cars provided by the company, they did nothing to strictly enforce this policy. In fact, the laptops were all programmed with wireless internet/mobile network coverage, which made it possible to access the internet while driving. The estate of the decedent has brought an action against the medical supplies company for punitive damages, for failing to strictly enforce the ‘no technology while driving’ rules that their employee training manuals suggest.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

1. While the pharmaceutical company in question may have had policies which were appropriate, were there additional measures which should have been taken to ensure that their employees do not harm individuals on the road?

2. Is it reasonable for a company of this size (2,000+ traveling sales reps in the USA) to foresee that their sales team members may be inclined to use technology while driving to sales appointments, and in turn, to take necessary actions to ensure that this doesn't happen?

Expert Witness Response E-004895

inline imageThe cars leased out by their company, as part of their fleet, would have regulations and guidelines associated with their operation. I have been involved with fleet management my entire career - nearly all of which has been specific to the pharma industry. I have trained more than 60 drivers at a time and supervised different types of fleets during my career. I have extensive experience with domestic and international logistics, and I have managed and coordinated national vehicle fleets. Also, I trained drivers in accordance with varying safety manuals to ensure adherence by employees. Additionally, I am very knowledgeable about most national regulatory agencies as they relate to vehicle operation. As such, I feel confident in serving as an expert on a case like this. Without question, it's possible for a company of this size to invest in technology that 'shuts down' all computers and cell phones while a vehicle is in motion. It's expensive, but it's available.

About the author

Michael Talve, CEO

Michael Talve, CEO

Michael Talve stands at the forefront of legal innovation as the CEO and Managing Director of Expert Institute. Under his leadership, the Expert Institute has established itself as a vital player in the legal technology arena, revolutionizing how lawyers connect with world-class experts and access advanced legal technology. Michael's role involves not only steering the company's strategic direction but also ensuring the delivery of unparalleled intelligence and cutting-edge solutions to legal professionals. His work at Expert Institute has been instrumental in enhancing the capabilities of attorneys in case preparation and execution, making a significant impact on the legal industry's approach to expert consultation and technological integration. Michael's vision and execution have positioned the Expert Institute as a key facilitator in the intersection of law and technology.

Find an expert witness near you

What State is your case in?

What party are you representing?

background image

Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our newsletter to stay up to date on legal news, insights and product updates from Expert Institute.