Taking Enterprise Leasing for a ride

The Madison County Record Oct. 17, 2010, 12:32pm

Those who have narrowly avoided a serious car accident have a keen sense of their mortality and are grateful to be alive and uninjured. For all the years that follow they can picture what might have happened had they not screeched to a halt or swerved out of harm's way just in time.

Imagine being hit head-on by a speeding bus, being trapped, maimed and bleeding inside your mangled car and wondering if you're going to live long enough to be extracted and rushed to a trauma center.

William and Colleen Wiley don't have to use their imaginations. They had that horrible experience two years ago on I-57 in West Frankfurt.

The Tallahassee couple were heading north when a southbound vehicle crossed the median and struck their car. They suffered multiple injuries and remained confined in their car until an emergency response team could cut them out. Then they were airlifted to a medical facility.

Ironically, the vehicle that hit them was a "Rock of Love Bus" van carrying equipment for the MTV program. The driver, who apparently had fallen asleep at the wheel, tested positive for marijuana use.

Having felt the rock but not the love, the Wileys filed suit against MTV, VH-1 Music First, two entertainment companies, and the driver and received $16 million in damages.

One could question the size of the settlement, but still sympathize with the Wileys. Their terrible injuries were caused by the negligence of someone in the employ of the defendants.

Now the Wileys have filed suit against Enterprise Leasing, owners of the van rented to transport "Rock of Love Bus" equipment, alleging that the company knowingly entrusted that vehicle to an unlicensed and unqualified driver.

Since the van was rented by representatives of the defendant companies--and not by the driver--it's hard to see the reasoning behind the suit against Enterprise.

Our sympathy for the Wileys seems to diminish as the lawsuits seem to pile up.

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