Press Release: Jury Found Cumberland Farms Negligent and Grossly Negligent in the Death of Kimmy Dubuque at a Cumberland Farms Store in Chicopee in 2010
(Northampton) Today the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed a $20 million verdict (reduced by the trial judge from $32 million) against one of the largest convenience store chains in the country. After a two and a half week trial, a jury in Springfield determined that Cumberland Farms was negligent and grossly negligent in not providing barriers at the entryways to its stores. The jury found that the failure to have such barriers led to the death of Kimmy Dubuque when she was struck by a motor vehicle at the entrance to the Chicopee store.
The evidence showed that this incident was one of hundreds of similar incidents that occurred at Cumberland Farms stores over the previous decade. It could have been prevented by simple, relatively inexpensive safety precautions. Instead, the evidence showed that Cumberland Farms chose not to take such steps, largely due to cost. In November, 2010, Cumberland Farms was one of the largest multi-state convenience store chains in the United States. It employed approximately 6,500 people in its nearly 600 stores. It had more than 40 million customer visits per year and generated approximately $17 billion in annual sales revenue.
The jury was not allowed to read a statement with its verdict, but the written statement contained a message not only to Cumberland Farms, but to all businesses that invite the public onto their property. It read, “We hope Cumberland Farms will acknowledge this as an opportunity to honor the life of Kimmy Dubuque by investing time and money in the safety of its guests and employees.”
Kimmy’s family is gratified by the affirmation from the jury and the Appeals Court and sincerely hopes that no other family has to lose a family member in the same way.