Wendy’s Charged with Negligence in Car Accident

A stop at local Wendy’s resulted in serious injury for a Williston Park, NY mother and daughter, who have filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit.

Theresa DiMilia and her 11-year-old daughter Samantha walked out of the Wendy’s restaurant on December 4, 2012, when a car being driven by an elderly woman jumped the curb and pinned them against the wall.

“The pain was so unbearable. I remember my daughter Samantha asking me if she was dead,” Theresa DiMilia told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

Samantha DiMilia was treated and released after suffering a severely fractured leg. Now, two months later, Samantha is walking again, but Theresa DiMilia is still in a wheelchair after having both legs fractured in the incident. “Wondering if I’m gonna be able to walk,” she said. “It’s amazing how three seconds changed our whole life.”

The lawsuit names the driver of the vehicle – 75-year-old Margaret Hogarty of Mineola, NY – as well as Wendy’s International Inc. and Westbury Properties, LLC, which owns the property where the restaurant is located, as defendants.

Attorney Jeffrey Lisabeth said Wendy’s only installed pedestrian safety blocks after the crash in December. He said if the restaurant had parking blocks or posts in place at the time of the incident, the tragedy could have been prevented.

Wendy’s released a statement about the incident, saying “This was a terrible accident and our thoughts and prayers go to the two victims. We wish them a speedy recovery. The accident was caused by a driver who apparently lost control of her vehicle. Regarding the lawsuit, we do not comment on specifics of pending litigation.”

The lawsuit raises the issue of what degree of responsibility a place of business or commercial property owner has insofar as preventative measures, as well as the need for more frequent testing of elderly drivers.