Lawsuit blames Pizza Hut delivery practices in deadly Wichita crash
A Wichita man filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit earlier this month, arguing Pizza Hut's delivery practices played a part in a crash that killed his mother and injured his grandmother.
Michael Capps filed the lawsuit on June 6, nearly four months after the deadly crash in west Wichita. Capps is the Republican candidate for the Kansas House of Representatives' 85th District which includes parts of northeast Wichita, Bel Aire, Kechi and Benton in western Butler County.
The defendant in the case is listed as Pizza Hut of Southeast Kansas, Inc.
The suit says on or about Feb. 17, a Pizza Hut delivery driver was making a delivery and driving recklessly in west Wichita. The suit says the driver's vehicle was traveling north on 119th Street near Resthaven Mortuary when it came across a funeral procession.
According to a witness, the suit says, the delivery driver swerved from one lane into another lane, hitting a stopped vehicle from behind and sending that vehicle into an electric pole.
A woman identified as Karen Capps died in the crash. Another woman named Juanita Capps was injured.
The suit says the delivery driver was following rapid-delivery protocols for delivery and pick-up, "created and implemented by Pizza Hut to insure that customers get hot pizzas quickly after they make a purchase."
"The protocols are grossly negligent, wanton and in reckless
disregard for human life," the suit says.
The lawsuit says the delivery driver in part failed to stop for the funeral procession and switched lanes at a high rate of speed in an attempt to avoid the procession.
"Pizza Hut and its respective agents, employees and representatives were careless and negligent for negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention of its driver and his supervisory personnel," the suit says.
The lawsuit also, in part, accuses the restaurant chain of failing to implement a safety program for its drivers and for failing to properly test drivers.
In the suit, Capps claims damages totaling more than $75,000.