Papa John Driver Killed in Accident Not His Fault. Papa John’s Insurance Pays Zilch

When I began watching this video and attorney David Allen said that the court decided for the family of the deceased Papa John’s driver, I felt that was right.   The United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit however,  overturned the lower court’s decision.

The 8th Circuit’s decision introduces the case as follows:

“This case arises out of the untimely death of Adam Fetzer, a delivery driver for the Papa John’s restaurant chain who was killed in a car accident on April 28, 2012. Fetzer was driving during the course of his employment in Bismarck, North Dakota, when another driver ran a red light and struck his vehicle.”


Adam Fetzer

Papa John’s policy that covers accidents is written out of Kentucky.  Kentucky law does not require under insured coverage.  Adam Fetzer delivered pizzas for Papa John’s in North Dakota.  Adam was 26-years old.  Robert Harrington, the man who struck Adam’s vehicle, had a policy that covered liability up to the amount of $25K.   Adam died as a result of the accident. Adam’s family filed a claim with Papa John’s insurance company for $100K.

David Allen explains the case.

People who sincerely want to work and take jobs as delivery drivers don’t often look at the fine print, or think that the worst will ever happen to them.  Then the worst happens, and their families are faced with costs along with their grief of losing a loved one.

Adam’s obituary says that he attended Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science. He was working at Sykes and Papa John’s Pizza in Bismarck.  He loved his grandma’s soup.

Our condolences to Adam’s family and friends.  The law is not always compassionate.



Posted on 03/06/2017, in Cases and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Dreamer9177

    Laws are written by those in power to protect those in power.

  2. Dear Xena,

    How insensitive and greedy can a company act?

    Knowing this, I would not allow my son or daughter to drive for this company or any other company that treats its employees so cavalierly And. I definitely will never purchase “Papa John’s” pizza.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda,
      I never imagined that companies like Papa John’s would not carry insurance to protect their employees under all circumstances. This case is a wake-up call.

  3. So sad…. BUT just as Dreamer pointed out…. “Laws are written by those in power to protect those in power”. AND… they are only changed when those in power are affected.

    • Roach,
      So true. The least Papa John’s could have done was pay the funeral expenses.

      • Xena,
        Common sense…..ain’t all that common!!!

        • Roach that is true, and particularly true when people are looking for employment. A paycheck is their priority. There are companies that hire only part-timers so they don’t have to cover them with health insurance. The extension of medicaid in some states still omits thousands of people. If they have income that’s a dollar more than their poverty rate, they are denied Medicaid. The tax credits helped, but then some insurance companies increased their premiums beyond the tax credits. What remained were policies that limited people to health care providers that they won’t take their dog or cat to see for treatment.

          • You’re right on all of these fronts…. These companies play BIG games.

            Changing the subject:
            -You have a new nomination on deck Versatile Blogger Award.
            – Thump is going to get impeached!
            He should not have lied on Obama. That is going to be a part of his undoing….

            • Roach,
              I’m honored with the award nomination. I’ve received that award previously and will look up the rules.

              About Trump, seems to me that he is having a nervous breakdown. Leading a country is much different than running a company. I think he’s learning that. Company owners can be rude, obnoxious, and opinionated about others, but the President has to conduct himself in a manner that does not impugn the country. Arnold Schwarzenegger has quit the Celebrity Apprentice because of Trump’s rants about him.

      • butterflydreamer2

        I agree Xena.

        I used to be an insurance underwriter, but did not write business insurance. I have a question why the driver at fault was not sued for what was not covered. He may have had what the state law required, but if that was not enough to cover the losses, he is liable for the rest. It is always wise to have more than what the law requires, if you’re at fault it could wipe you out.

        • Hey Butterflydreamer! I looked to see if there was any news about Robert Harrington, the 58-year old who ran the red light crashing into Adam’s car, killing him. I found one source; the Bismarck Tribune. There was suppose to be an investigation into the crash,but that was in May 2012. If Harrington was not charged, maybe the family could not sue him for what was not covered. The crashed happened in North Dakota and I’m not familiar with their state laws.

          There was no mention about workman’s comp coverage either.

          Your point about having more coverage than what is required is excellent, at least for those persons who own something of value.

  4. roderick2012

    “Papa John’s policy that covers accidents is written out of Kentucky. Kentucky law does not require under insured coverage. ”

    Someone made a point the other day about health insurance being sold across state lines.

    The thought is that just like credit card companies gravitate to states which have the least regulation on credit card companies health insurance companies would gravitate to states which require the least amount of coverage.

    Of course this is what Republicans have been thinking all along while claiming allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines would increase competition.

    Republicans are so smart they are stupid.

    • Hey Roderick! The GOP is hoping that people often look for bargains when purchasing health care insurance. Some will. They never anticipate the worst to happen. I also question whether medical groups are willing to accept insurance from another state. Can you imagine what their billing departments will go through, not to speak of resolving problems with billing. Where will the consumer go — 500 miles away to arbitrators?

      This is a good time for people who work for franchises to examine the rules and policies. They might find that while they are working for the franchise owner in one state, that the owner operates under the corporate agreement that is under the jurisdiction of another state.

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