Watchdog Flags Garda for Dismal Crash Record

Garda armored cars have been involved in crashes resulting in serious injuries and death. The Tampa Bay Times recently scrutinized the company’s safety record, summarizing that “Garda had a history of putting dangerous trucks and error-prone drivers on the road – resulting in deaths and injuries across America.’’

Truck accident lawsuits provided key information for the Garda unsafe truck driving story, published by The Tampa Bay Times. The newspaper relied partly on the footwork of lawyers who investigated crashes that killed and injured other drivers, pedestrians and several of Garda’s own drivers.  All but one of 56 Garda drivers interviewed for the story cited safety problems with Garda trucks, the Times said.

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Garda LawsuitAccording to federal transportation trucking data reviewed by the Pritzker Hageman law firm’s top truck accident lawyers, Garda armored vehicles travel about 8 million miles a year in the United States. In Garda’s 2020 filing with the Department of Transportation (DOT), the company reported having 80 drivers. In the two-year period that ended March 20, 2020, Garda truck drivers were involved in 28 crashes, including 12 that caused injuries.

In that same time period, according to DOT, 13 percent of U.S. vehicle inspections of Garda trucks detected factors that were  “out of service.’’ When it came to driver inspections, 6.1 percent came back as “out of service,’’ a ratio higher than the national average.

DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also tracks unsafe driving violations. In Garda’s case, drivers were cited 11 times over the two-year period that ended Feb. 29, 2020. Speeding and failing to obey traffic control signs were the leading violations.

Can I Sue Garda For An Accident?

Unsafe truck driving will continue to cause injuries and wrongful deaths. These tragedies are avoidable and the accountability rests with the trucking company. If you were injured by a Garda truck, you may be able to sue for compensation. Victims have the court system on their side, but time is of the essence. Contact our truck accident attorneys to start an investigation. To build the best case, your lawyer will need to move quickly to gather evidence. 

Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman have taken on large transportation companies on behalf of clients and their families who have suffered death, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), amputations, burns and other personal tragedies. They recovered $5.1 million for a client who lost his leg while riding his motorcycle when he was hit by an overtired delivery truck driver. In another case, a jury in Hennepin County, Minnesota, awarded $2.46 million to the family of a wife and mother who was run over and killed by a semi-truck while riding her bicycle. When a child suffered a brain injury in a truck crash, the law firm won a $3.5 million settlement. In yet another case, Pritzker Hageman won a settlement of $2.85 million in a wrongful death case involving a commercial truck that lost a wheel, which flew into the windshield of a car, killing the driver. Our attorneys represented the family.

Garda Crash History

Garda armored vehicles transport $8 billion cash every day. The companies under the Garda corporate umbrella have grown to serve a variety of sectors: financial, retail, healthcare and hospitality. The Tampa Bay Times said this: “In its rush to grow, Garda took shortcuts that put unsafe trucks and error-prone drivers on the road.’’ The newspaper report (published in March 2020) said some of the company’s trucks had bad brakes, broken speedometers or missing seat belts. “Even though the trucks transport millions of dollars, drivers have used zip ties and rope to keep the doors closed,’’ the newspaper reported.

Between 2008 and early 2020, at least 19 people died in crashes involving Garda trucks, Tampa Bay Times reported. The newspaper traced a dozen of those crashes to a Garda truck’s mechanical failure or a Garda driver’s mistake. From February 2014 to July 2016, the company’s trucks averaged nearly 100 collisions a month, the newspaper reported. More than 320 people were injured in those truck crashes.

 In 2008, a Garda truck’s brakes failed and hit a school bus, killing 10-year-old Olivia Hayes as she tried to board. In 2010, a Garda truck crossed into the oncoming lane, colliding with a tanker truck, killing the driver and a Garda worker. In 2019, a Texas state court jury considered a $100 million lawsuit filed by the family of a motorcyclist who died in a collision with a Garda armored truck.

Yet another Garda lawsuit — this one in California — added new claims in January 2020 related to the wrongful death of 22-year-old Mikaela Jones. She died in 2018 after being struck as a pedestrian in the parking lot of a La Jolla shopping center. Lawyers for the family have alleged that the Garda armored truck driver was unfit to drive and that the company knew it.

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Category: Accidents
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