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The family of a Maine commercial fisherman who was hit and killed by an Amazon delivery driver in July 2020 has filed a negligence lawsuit against the online retail giant.

Misty Fisher and her three children of Woolwich, Maine, filed a lawsuit in Sagadahoc County Superior Court on Monday, naming the driver, Nasser Tibaijuka of Waltham, Massachusetts, and multiple related trucking firms with a history of safety breaches.

According to the lawsuit, Amazon knew or should have known Tibaijuka and the transportation companies it used to deliver its products were risky.

According to court records, the “Midnight entities,” located in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Nashua, New Hampshire, were likely a “chameleon carrier” that reincarnated and established new trucking firms when the previous one racked up many federal safety infractions.

When contacted via phone, James Kihiko, the chief principle of the Midnight companies, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

“While our sincere condolences are with Mr. Fisher’s family because litigation has just begun, we are not in a position to give any comment right now,” said Amazon spokesperson Maria Boschetti of the negligence case.


What happened?

According to court documents, Tibaijuka was “distracted by his cellphone” around 6 a.m. on July 3 when his box truck full of Amazon packages swerved and collided with Joseph Fisher, who was attending to his boat trailer, “throwing him into the air and down the highway” on Interstate 295 near Topsham, Maine. He passed away ten days later.

Fisher’s wife and children were in a neighboring vehicle when the deadly incident occurred. According to the lawsuit, the children are still experiencing mental hardship.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Tibaijuka is serving a 10-month jail term after pleading guilty in September 2021 to a felony charge of driving to endanger and causing severe bodily injury.

According to court records, Tibaijuka, from Uganda, received a B-2 tourist visa in August 2018 and was working as a truck driver for one of Kihiko’s trucking firms on the day of the incident, which Amazon hired to transport its items.

According to court documents, Tibaijuka was taken into custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement the day after a grand jury in October 2020 indicted him, and he stayed there until his sentence.

According to attorney James O’Connell, who represents the Fisher family, Amazon prioritizes profits before safety.

“For public safety, Amazon is obliged to guarantee the transportation businesses it uses are safe, and yet here, Amazon utilized a trucking company with a known risky safety record,” O’Connell said. “The unfortunate outcome was the death in front of his family of a father and husband.” So while Amazon thrives, as usual, the Fisher family will never be the same.”