Furry v. United States, No. 12-1888 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs were riding in the family’s 1978 station wagon in 2007, in heavy rain with limited visibility. Williams, a recently hired substitute letter carrier for the Postal Service, was in a postal truck, parallel parked on the side of the road with the front of the truck sticking out. Williams had visited a friend and, in violation of USPS rules, was away from his designated route. The vehicles collided, damaging the station wagon. Plaintiffs claim that Williams refused to call police and left the scene, afraid of losing his job. Williams first denied involvement, then resigned. After exhausting administrative remedies, plaintiffs sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act, seeking $45 million. They did not offer any expert testimony on the cause of the collision. Williams did not appear at trial, but in a deposition stated that his vehicle was stationary at the time of the collision. Asked to reconcile this a with the fact that the back end of the car came into contact with the postal truck, Williams responded that he had no explanation and that it was “mystical.” The district court declined to find that Williams breached his duty of ordinary care. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.