Maine Employee’s Widow Sues Employer Over Asleep-at-Wheel Crash

July 23, 2007

A floor products company faces a lawsuit by the Maine widow of an employee who was killed last year in a highway crash after he apparently fell asleep at the wheel while driving home from work.

Another motorist who was injured in the April 26, 2006, accident on Route 27 in New Sharon has also sued N.R.F. Distributors of Augusta.

The Franklin County Superior Court lawsuits allege that Robert Boisvert, 40, worked excessively long hours over his objections and that exhaustion contributed to the crash.

The police report indicated that Boisvert’s pickup truck veered across the center line at 6:45 a.m., hitting an oncoming car operated by Ernest Kempton. Boisvert died at the scene and Kempton was critically injured.

The lawsuits were filed by Dawn Boivert of New Sharon and Ernest and Suzanne Kempton of Strong.

Dawn Boisvert’s lawyer, Justin Leary, said Maine law does not spell out whether such claims can be brought against an employer.

“Our theory is that they had him working too many hours and as a result, it affected his driving. (The company’s) claim is, a lot of people work long hours and you can’t blame an employer for something that happens after you leave your employment,” Leary said.

The Kemptons are seeking compensation from N.R.F. and also from Boisvert’s estate. Dawn Boisvert, as personal representative of her husband’s estate, has filed a cross-claim against N.R.F.

N.R.F. has denied responsibility for Boisvert’s death and for Kempton’s injuries, contending that other factors contributed to the crash.


Information from: Morning Sentinel,

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