Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Family of teen struck by flower delivery truck sues driver, company

Lawsuit filed at $16.5 million -

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - Viridiana Orozco-HernandezThe family of the girl who suffered critical injuries after being hit by a floral delivery truck last spring filed a $16.5 million lawsuit Tuesday, Sept. 27, against the company and driver involved in the crash.

According to the lawsuit, first obtained by KOIN 6 News, negligence by Deann Lepoidevin, the driver, led to the accident on April 20 that injured 13-year-old Viridiana Orozco-Hernandez. The lawsuit also implicates 1-800-FLOWERS and its authorized franchisee, Nancy’s Floral Inc.

At the time of the crash, Lepoidevin was employed by Nancy’s Floral and was driving a company van. The lawsuit states she “had a history of seizures, blackouts, epilepsy, and/or ‘déjà vu’ moments,” and had been seeing a doctor since 1998.

At the time of the crash, according to the lawsuit, Lepoidevin experienced two separate seizures — though the timeline between when Orozco-Hernandez was hit and the seizures is unknown.

Orozco-Hernandez was struck while walking home with a friend from Gordon Russell Middle School. The driver reportedly ran a red light and hit the girls as they made their way across the crosswalk at the intersection of Southeast First Street and Northeast Kane Drive. The lawsuit states Orozco-Hernandez was hit and thrown more than 50 feet, causing severe brain damage that left her struggling to speak and move her limbs.

The lawsuit holds Lepoidevin responsible for the crash because she failed to keep a proper lookout, maintain reasonable control over her vehicle, stop at a red light, and stop for a pedestrian. It goes on to say she was “operating a motor vehicle when she was medically unfit to do so.”

Lepoidevin failed to inform her employer of her history of seizures, the lawsuit says, which proves negligence. It goes on to claim Nancy’s Floral Inc. and its parent company should have inquired into any medical condition that could have impacted Lepoidevin’s ability to drive a vehicle.

The lawsuit also claims Nancy's Floral was negligent in investigating Lepoidevin's driving record, citing an earlier case where Lepoidevin “had applied for a job as a bus operator at TriMet, but was denied employment because she had admitted, in response to a specific question on her application, that she had a history of seizures.”