Wrongful death lawsuit filed in fatal Thibodaux crash
Courier, The (Houma, LA)
Aug. 25—A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a food delivery service and its driver who was criminally charged after striking and killing a Thibodaux woman as she was working in her yard last year.
Anita Mire, 79, was doing yardwork in her front yard in the 300 block of Arms Street in ThibodauxOct. 9 when she was struck by a 2011 Toyota Camry driven by 35-year-old DoorDash driver Shane Gilfour of Thibodaux, police said.
Mire was hospitalized in New Orleans with severe injuries and died eight days later.
In the lawsuit filed Aug. 2 in Lafourche Parish, Mire's children contend Gilfour looked away from the roadway to look at his cellphone to read the details of a DoorDash order. His car drifted into the left lane of Arms Street and swerved back to the right before veering off the right side of the road, striking the woman in her yard.
The lawsuit, which names DoorDash, Gilfour, Voyager Indemnity Insurance Company and Goauto Insurance Company as defendants, alleges DoorDash is "vicariously liable" for negligence that led to Mire's death.
"At all material times, DoorDash Inc. knew or should have known that Shane Gilfour was unable to operate his vehicle safely and properly," the lawsuit says. "DoorDash failed to make proper inquiry into the background of its delivery drivers, such as Shane Gilfour, in order to properly determine if the driver was capable of safely driving his vehicle."
According to a police report, an officer was called to the scene and found an elderly woman later identified as Mire lying in the grass of her front yard with serious injuries to her head and right arm.
Gilfour was seen trying to render aid to the victim, the report says. He initially told police he saw Mire lying in her yard as he was driving by and stopped to help but changed his story when officers became suspicious after they saw the damage on his car, authorities said.
"I observed blood on the front bumper and passenger side door," the police report says. "Since Shane Gilfour took ownership of the vehicle, I immediately developed him as a suspect in the crash. I then read him his Miranda warnings and he waived them. I asked what happened with the crash and Shane Gilfour admitted to striking the woman."
Gilfour said he was looking at his cell phone while driving and didn't see the victim, according to the report.
Police found about 1 gram of methamphetamine and a syringe in Gilfour's possession, authorities said. Following an investigation, Thibodaux Police charged Gilfour with vehicular homicide on Dec. 17.
An analysis of Gilfour's blood showed traces of amphetamines, methamphetamines, THC and other drugs, according to court records.
The lawsuit, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages, said that Gilfour's actions inflicted pain and suffering on Mire and her family.
"Shane Gilfour was operating his vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating substances," the complaint says. "Upon information and belief, Shane Gilfour acted with wanton or reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others and was intoxicated at the time of the aforementioned crash, and as such intoxication was cause in fact of Anita Mire's injuries. As a result of the crash in question, Anita Mire has suffered catastrophic injuries that led to her death. Anita Mire sustained severe injuries throughout her entire body for which she was required to remain as a hospital in-patient for eight days prior to her death during which time she suffered severe pain and mental anguish."
Gilfour was booked into the Lafourche Parish jail, where he currently remains on $55,000 bail. His next court date is set for Sept. 10.
DoorDash could not be reached for comment.
The plaintiffs are being represented by Baton Rouge attorneys Brent P. Frederick, Michael T. Beckers and Danielle N. Goren.
—Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.
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