Van Driver Says Dry Ice Nearly Killed Her

CONROE, Texas (CN) — A delivery driver claims she nearly died because FedEx never told her the 47 boxes she was delivering for it were packed with dry ice, whose fumes knocked her unconscious in the van.

Karen Drake Jackson says she did not die because a sheriff’s deputy stopped to check on a van stopped by the side of a road, and saw her lying unconscious, slumped over from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat. Finding all the doors locked, the officer broke a window with his baton, and dragged her, unconscious, out of the van.

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. It sublimates — passes from solid to gas without become liquid — at 109 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

In her Tuesday lawsuit in Montgomery County Court, Jackson says that neither FedEx nor co-defendant Tecmac, a fudgemaker that has a contract with FedEx, informed her that the “overwhelming majority” of the 47 boxes she was to deliver had no label on them. Only a few boxes were labeled “perishable,” she says in the complaint.

She was taken to a hospital on Aug. 2, 2016 and “has remained under medical care” since then, she says.

“She suffered acute hypoxia and a convulsive type episode, and her physicians and health care providers have diagnosed her with respiratory failure, major neurocognitive disorder, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other conditions,” the complaint states.

She seeks damages of $200,000 to $1 million, for negligence and past and future pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost earning capacity.

She is represented by Richard Schechter, of Houston.

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