Life is a highway

By Judge Brian Addington, Gray

I can still remember when the first Cars movie came out. I was excited because I thought my son, who was three at the time, would love it. Sure enough he did, and eventually he decorated his room with Cars memorabilia.

His love of the Cars movies led to a love of NASCAR. I was glad because I love NASCAR, too. But he just had to pick Jeff Gordon as his favorite driver. Yuck! Regardless, we’ve spent many weekends on the road traveling to and from races to enjoy our favorite drivers.

Speaking of roads, remember the scene from Cars where Lightning McQueen is forced to repave Radiator Springs’ main road as punishment for speeding? He sure hated doing it at first. His lackadaisical attitude caused him to make a real mess.


Well sure enough, life sometimes imitates art. I heard about a recent industrial accident in Germany. As I pulled up the article, the picture below is what I saw.


Instead of smelly hot asphalt, it was delicious liquid chocolate flowing out of the DrieMeister chocolate factory in Westonnen, Germany. Of course, the cold outside soon solidified the chocolate. Okay chocolate lovers, no need to fly to Germany for your chocolate fix, as firefighters cleaned up the mess in a few hours.

Similarly, earlier this year 12 tons of chocolate spilled on a highway in Poland when a tanker overturned. See the mess below.


Unfortunately, and unlike the German incident where no injures occurred, the Polish truck driver broke his arm.

In a quick search of Tennessee workers’ compensation cases, I found one reported case where an employee injured her neck working on a truck filled with chocolate. In Suits v. MM Mars, the trial court found Ms. Suits suffered a neck injury when she lost her balance while on top of a truck but caught herself on a safety rail before she fell to the ground. The Court capped the case at two and a half times the medical impairment rating, and the Supreme Court Special Panel affirmed.

So, yes, chocolate in most forms is delicious, but one can get injured transporting the stuff around. And it may be that the chocolate makes the road, as the song says, “Road so rough this I know.”





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