Family of Employee Killed During Oil Change Reaches Settlement

June 27, 2022

The family of Jeffrey Hawkins, who died in March 2020 on the job, and the Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership have settled for an undisclosed amount. 

June 23, 2022—A Jeep dealership in Michigan has reached an agreement on a settlement with the family of a mechanic who was killed on the job. This is the latest update in a story that NOLN originally shared in May 2022

According to Fox 2, the settlement is for an undisclosed amount. It is between the Rochester Hills Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership and the family of Jeffrey Hawkins, who died in March 2020.

The family originally sued the owner of the Jeep that Hawkins was killed by during the process of an oil change. This is because in the state of Michigan, a worker that is injured or killed on the job cannot sue the boss because of the boss's negligence. 

Hawkins died when his 19-year-old co-worker removed his foot from the clutch of the manual Jeep that they were working on, which caused the vehicle to lurch forward and crush Hawkins, who was outside of the car. The teenager operating the vehicle did not have a driver's license and did not know how to operate a manual. 

The article noted that, according to law, the owner of the vehicle is liable for negligent acts because the teenager was operating the vehicle with permission. But the owner of the Jeep did not end up having to pay any money in this settlement. 

FOX 2's Charlie Langton said that the teenager cannot be held criminally responsible for what is being deemed as a mistake. The teenager is not being identified. 

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