Originally created 08/17/99

Domino's named in 3 lawsuits

AIKEN -- The mother of an 11-year-old Aiken girl killed by a car after darting across a busy two-lane highway in February filed three lawsuits Monday against Domino's Pizza and the deliveryman who was driving the car.

In the lawsuits, Maxine Griffin claims the negligence of driver George Robert Shelton Jr. and the company caused the death of her daughter, Christan Nicole Griffin. She is seeking a jury trial and award of unspecified damages.

Christan, a fifth-grader at East Aiken Elementary School, was returning from the Food Lion store with friends after dark Feb. 18 when she tried to cross Beaufort Street in Aiken.

She was struck by a van traveling westbound and thrown by the impact into a ditch. She died from her injuries.

Friends said Christan was trying to return home across the street, where she lived at Pacer Run Apartments with her mother and sisters.

In a wrongful-death lawsuit, Ms. Griffin accuses Mr. Shelton of approaching the area around a curve at a high rate of speed and failing to keep a proper lookout or yield the right of way.

It accuses Domino's Pizza and its owner, Lead Dog Pizza, of failing to properly supervise its drivers during their employment and failing to conduct a proper background search on its drivers.

In the second lawsuit, which mirrors the first, Ms. Griffin accuses the defendants of negligent infliction of emotional distress.

"(The mother) was in hearing distance of the collision ... and heard the crash, and was on the scene within seconds to find her child in the process of dying and shortly thereafter died in her full view," the second suit states.

The third lawsuit claims the defendants caused the girl to suffer serious injuries and mental shock and suffering that led to her untimely death. It asks for actual and punitive damages.

Lawsuits represent only one point of view. The defendants have 30 days to respond.

Greg Rickabaugh can be reached at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.


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