Automobile Accidents - Articles

Woman Wins $20 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

April 30, 2015

A widow was awarded $20 million in court for her husband, who died in a train collision in 2012 in Steele, Missouri.

The lawsuit, filed by Sherry Spence on behalf of her late husband Scott Spence, a businessman, named Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway as the defendant.

Scott was hit by a BNSF train while driving his car across the tracks and was thrown from his vehicle upon collision. A railroad crossing sign without lights or gates was the only signal present at the intersection.

“BNSF respects the jury's time and effort it devoted to this case, and we will evaluate how to best address the multiple irregularities in the trial,” said BNSF spokesman Mike Trevino. “While everyone recognizes the emotional and sympathetic nature of this grade-crossing accident, there was no evidence presented of negligence by the railroad, and the evidence clearly shows that the motorist did not stop at the crossing. Regardless of this litigation's ultimate outcome, BNSF recognizes the loss suffered by the Spence family and again extends its condolences.”


Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Deputy

April 21, 2015

A family is suing the deputy and the Sheriff's Office of Lee County in Cape Coral, Florida.

Deputy Douglas Hood hit Austin Dukette, 15, as he was riding his bike to school. The lawsuit claims that Deputy Hood and the Lee County Sheriff's Office are liable for the incident.

The lawsuit also accused Hood of speeding, swerving and looking down at his work laptop when he hit Dukette.

The family is asking for $15,000 in damages for mental pain and suffering after a judge said there was not enough to convict Hood.


Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed for Death of Nursing Student

April 08, 2015

A former Hudson man and his parents have been named as defendants in a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of a 21-year-old California nursing student.

The lawsuit was filed against Riley Dean Hoover and his parents, Dean and Dana Hoover. Riley was living in California when he struck Kristina Chesterman as she was riding her bicycle in a drunk driving incident. He then fled the scene.

Riley was sentenced to seven years in prison on Sept. 5, 2014.

The suit seeks compensatory damages and relief for medical and funeral costs, personal property damage to Chesterman's bike and legal costs.

The Chestermans accuse the Hoovers' decision to let their son drive the vehicle of being “irresponsible and reckless.”


Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against TV Sports Anchor, Tow Truck Driver

April 07, 2015

A sports reporter and tow truck company are facing a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman who was fatally struck in Louisville, Kentucky.

The suit alleges that tow truck driver Matthew Good struck Fontaine Jeffrey before sports reporter Jeff Woods hit her, “dragging her several feet down Jefferson Street.” Woods fled the scene of the accident after discovering her body.

According to the lawsuit, filed by attorney Aubrey Williams, Woods's actions were “unconscionable, outrageous, repugnant and violated human decency.”

Woods has been indicted on one count of failure to stop and render aid. Good has not been charged.


Former Olympian Bruce Jennifer Sued for Wrongful Death

April 03, 2015

A wrongful death lawsuit has named retired Olympian Bruce Jenner as a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit involving a fatal crash crash.

Jenner was caught in a highway pile-up in Malibu, California, when his Escalade rear-ended a Lexus, reportedly pushing it into oncoming traffic and killing the female driver, 69-year-old Kim Howe.

Howe's two stepchildren have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Jenner.

Howe's assets, which are worth millions, will be donated to her favorite charities.


Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Hit-and-Run Crash

April 02, 2015

The parents of a Chico State University nursing student have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Ohio man involved in the drunken driving incident that led to their daughter's death.

The lawsuit, filed by Dave and Sandra Chesterman, seeks damages from defendant Riley Dean Hoover for striking Kristina Chesterman as she was bicylcing home.

When Hoover was arrested, a blood sample showed his blood alcohol content to be .33, four times the legal adult limit.

Chesterman was declared dead at Enloe Medical Center on Sept. 24, two days after the crash.

Chris Wood, the Chestermans' attorney, said the lawsuit is intended to put an end to drunk drivers killing or injuring loved ones.


Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed for Teacher Killed in Collision

March 20, 2015

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a special education teacher who was killed in a head-on collision in Maine.

Amy Harris, who taught special education for several years at Hussey Elementary, was driving with her two young children when Cameron Claire, a teenager, hit her vehicle head on, killing her.

Her 4-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son have since recovered from their injuries.

The Attorney General's office found no evidence indicating that Clair was under the influence or distracted at the time of the crash.

Claire was ordered to pay a fine and serve 120 hours of community service. His license was suspended for two years.


Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Man Fatally Struck by Truck in Chicago

March 19, 2015

A family has filed a lawsuit against the 23-year-old who was driving the truck that fatally struck a man last summer in Chicago.

The lawsuit, filed by Nimisha Shah on behalf of the estate of Rajendrakumar Shah, charges the man who drove the truck for the hit-and-run crash and the woman who owned the truck.

Rajendrakumar was struck by a pickup truck driven by Michael T. Epley at 9:13 p.m. while visiting family in Tinley Park, according to the medical examiner's office.

Epley is charged with aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and failure to stop after having an accident involve personal injury or death, as well as various traffic offenses.


Mother of Fourth Teen Killed in Crash Joins Wrongful Death Lawsuit

March 12, 2015

A mother has joined a wrongful death lawsuit that accused Ohio officials of failing to maintain a road and a guardrail, resulting in the death of six teenagers.

The mother of Ramone White, 15, joined a lawsuit filed after the driver of a Honda Passport, which carried eight teenagers, lost control and crashed along a steel mill. Brian Henry, 18, and Asher Lewis, 15, were the only survivors.

According to reports, Alexis Cayson, the driver, had no drugs in her system.


Toyota Pays $11 Million in Lawsuit for Fatal Crash

February 03, 2015

Toyota Motor corp was ordered Tuesday to pay $11 million for a defective accelerator in a 1996 Camry, which caused a fatal 2006 crash in Minnesota.

Jurors in Minnesota found that Toyota was 60 percent liable for the crash that, according to plaintiffs, was caused by faulty breaks and a stuck accelerator in the Camry.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of the people who were injured or killed in a crash in St. Paul, Minnesota, which involved Camry driver Koua Fong Lee.

Lee's vehicle was accelerating out of control when it slammed into an Oldsmobile Ciera, killing the driver, Javis Trice-Adams Sr. and his 9-year-old son. A 6-year-old girl who was in the car was paralyzed and later died, and two other passengers were also injured.

Lee was released from prison when reports of accelerator discrepancies in other Toyota vehicles surfaced.


Family Wins $165 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit against FedEx

January 28, 2015

An El Paso, Texas, family has won $175 in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against FedEx for the death of a mother and her daughter.

The lawsuit was filed against FedEx after a crash with a big rig took the lives of Mariali Venegas and her daughter. According to authorities, the vehicle slammed into the back of Venegas's pickup truck while it was pulled over on the I-10 outside Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Jack Pfeiffer, a spokesman of FedEx, says the company “respectfully” disagree and intends on appealing.


Family of Man Allegedly Killed by Drunk Driver Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

January 27, 2015

A family in Overland Park, Kansas, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver who is charged with killing their father.

According to prosecutors, 17-year-old driver Conner Estrella was on probation and violated his curfew when he drove drunk and hit Kevin Moroney, 52, and his girlfriend standing next to him.

The Moroney children filed the lawsuit against both Estrella and his parents, alleging they were negligent in giving their son access to a car and not keeping track of his whereabouts while he was on probation.

Moroney's family filed the lawsuit “to spread awareness and just ask that people talk with their kids about drinking and driving, underage drinking, and keep tabs on them and where they're at and just be responsible parents.”

Prosecutors have requested that Conner Estrella be tried as an adult.


Government Settled Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Parents of Struck Woman

December 29, 2014

The U.S. Government has settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of a woman who was fatally struck by a former congressional aide for $2.5 million.

According to the lawsuit, Raymond Morua, who was a field representative of Rep. Lois Capps, hit Mallory Rae Dies while she was crossing a street in Santa Barbara.

Morua's blood-alcohol level was 0.17 percent at the time. Capps hired Morua despite his history of drunken driving conditions.

Morua is serving 20 years to life in state prison after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.


Toyota Faced with Wrongful Death Lawsuit

December 23, 2014

A wrongful death and product liability lawsuit was filed against Toyota on behalf of a woman who died in a traffic accident.

According to the lawsuit, it was a defect in the design of the Toyota Highlander that Linda Wall was driving that caused her seat to break backward when she was rear-ended by a Jeep Wrangler.

Wall died seven hours later at a Santa Barbara hospital, having suffered cervical vertebral fractures in the collision.

The lawsuit also names the driver of the Wrangler, Rebecca Sandoval. Sandoval's car was found to contain used and unopened nitrous oxide containers. It states that she rear-ended Wall while under the influence of the drugs.

Sandoval is charged with murder, felony, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence, causing injury and a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence.


Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Jacksonville, Florida, against Liquor Store Proceeds

December 18, 2014

A state appeals court has given the greenlight to a lawsuit against a liquor store involved in the fartal car accident of a woman in Jacksonville, Florida.

The lawsuit was approved by the 1st District Court of Appeal, permitting the estate of Catherine Case to sue Bombay Luqors and co-owner Ravindu Patel, who allegedly sold alcohol to a minor, Andrews Newman.

Newman, 17, collided with Case, 22, in a car accident on March 2011, killing her.

According to the appeals-court opinion, Patel “sold alcohol to Andrews on several occasions without requiring proof of age, Andrews' youthful appearance notwithstanding, including on the night of the fatal accident.

Newman is serving an 11-year sentence for DUI manslaughter.


Multi-Vehicle Accident Spawns Wrongful Death Lawsuit

December 04, 2014

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over a multi-vehicle accident that happened during a blizzard warning in the state of Iowa.

According to court records, 15 vehicles were involved in the accident that killed Shelia Blood and Colby Dickett Bostick, which happened when the vehicle carrying blood crashed into a semi driven by Gregory Thompson.

The lawsuit alleges that the State Patrol determined that the vehicles involved in the crash were driving as speeds too fast for the conditions of the road.

The lawsuit, filed by the estate of Shelia Blood in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, seeks compensatory and punitive damages for negligence and wrongful deal from truck drivers Dorothy Motley-Hamilton, Gregory Thompson and Kim Yang, who were driving semis that were involved in the accident.

The lawsuit is also targeted at the companies that employed the three drivers, which are J & R Schugel Trucking, Polman Transer, Caravan Logistics and Caravan Leasing.


Car Accident Leads to Lawsuit

December 03, 2014

An injured driver is suing a woman for allegedly causing a two-car accident by driving through a pole barn in Edwardsville, Illinois.

The lawsuit, filed in Madison County Circuit Court, alleges that Ashli Jo Gapinski “sustained serious injuries” from the Oct. 29, 2013 crash.

The driver, Megan L. Franklin, is accused of driving through a pole barn and onto a road and hitting the left side of Gapinski's car, failing to yield to vehicles when she had entered the road, driving on grass, and failing to look out for other vehicles before the crash.

The suit also accuses her of driving under the influence and driving too fast, as well as of intentionally driving through the pole barn.

The suit seeks $50,000 for each of the counts of alleged negligence.


Family Dismisses Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed for Fatal Crash

November 25, 2014

An Iowa family is dismissing the wrongful death lawsuit for a man who was killed while riding a motorcycle last spring.

The widow of David Crowe, Nancy, is dismissing the lawsuit against Stephanie Mercer, who was driving an SUV that struck David's motorcycle, because her insurance has paid the liability claim.

Nancy is continuing her suit against Farm Bureau Property and Casualty Insurance to receive the difference between what she was paid and the costs she claims.


Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Drug Rehab Center

November 20, 2014

A family is suing the employer of a drunk substance-abuse counselor who struck and killed a man with her car in Torrance, California.

Sherri Wilkins consumed three bottles of vodka and a can of beer before leaving her job at a treatment center and hitting Phillip Moreno, 31.

According to the lawsuit, Wilkins drove two miles “with Moreno splayed out across her windsheild before motorists swarmed her at a traffic light and forced her to stop.”

The lawsuit alleges that Twin Town Treatment Center, the drug rehabilitation center Wilkins works for, did not properly monitor her. Wilkins has a history of being an addict and would allegedly conduct treatment sessions while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“This accident was foreseeable and preventable if Sherri Wilkins' supervisors had acted on the red flags,” attorney Brian Kabateck said.


Takata, Honda Sued for Air Bag-Related Death

November 17, 2014

An air bag that was linked to the death of a Florida woman has prompted a lawsuit against both Takata Corp and Honda Motor co on Monday.

The family of the victim, Hien Tran, filed the wrongful death lawsuit in state court in Orange County, Florida.

According to a medical examiner in Florida, Tran had “stab-type wounds” from air bag shrapnel.

A U.S. Safety investigation began earlier this year to investigate Takata air bags, which are at risk to explode.

The lawsuit accuses Honda for not warning car owners about the dangers of the air bags, which have been linked to at least eight injuries between 2009 and 2014.


Widow Files Lawsuit against Accused Killer

November 10, 2014

A woman in Endicott, New York, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who is accused of killer her husband.

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 24 in the State Supreme Court of Broome County, accusing Dylan R. Schmiel of driving with negligence and recklessness, causing the death of David Decker.

The attorney of Decker's widow, Judith Decker, said that Schmiel did not use any form of care before the crash.

Schmiel was speeding when he collided with Decker along Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania.

Schmiel acted with “sustained, purposeful recklessness” while driving under the influence of marijuana, according to an investigation by Pennsylvania state police.


Tracy Morgan Sues Walmart in Personal Injury Lawsuit

November 03, 2014

Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Walmart, targeting one of the corporation's truck drivers.

A commercial truck struck a limousine that carried the “30 Rock” comedian, among other passengers, injuring Morgan and several others.

According to Morgan, Walmart's negligence in the ownership and operation of the truck was a “substantial contributing factor” in the crash that injured him.

The driver, Kevin Roper, has pleaded not guilty to the charged of death by auto and assault by auto.

The criminal complaint accused Roper of driving “without having slept for a period of in excerss of 24 hours, resulting in a motor vehicle accident.” Walmart issued a statement that said Roper “was operating within the federal hours of service regulations.”

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation revealed Roper was traveling at 65 mph in a 45 mph zone before the collision occurred. He had also been on duty for 13.5 hours when the crash happened, which is within the federal guidelines that limit work shifts to 14 hours and a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.


Woman Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Man Accused of Killing Her Husband

October 17, 2014

A woman in Binghamton, New York, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man who was already charged with the murder of her husband.

According to State Police, Dylan Schmiel, 23, was speeding when he struck and killed David Decker, 73, while driving on Interstate 81 North.

Schmiel is facing charges of murder, homicide by vehicle and homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence.

The lawsuit cites negligence and recklessness on Schmiel's part, who was found to have had marijuana in his system.

The suit also seeks damages for Judith Decker's loss of her husband's support, society and companionship.


Walmart Places Blame of Truck-Related Injuries on Tracy Morgan in lawsuit

September 29, 2014

Walmart's response Monday to Tracy Morgan's lawsuit regarding a multi-car crash pinned the responsibility on Morgan.

Regarding the crash in which Morgan and several others were injured, Walmart said the injuries “were caused, in whole or in part, by plaintiffs' failure to properly wear an appropriate available seatbelt restraint device.”

“By failing to exercise ordinary care in making use of available seatbelts, upon information and belief, plaintiffs acted unreasonable and in disregard of plaintiffs' own best interests,” wrote lawyers representing Walmart. “Accordingly, all or a portion of the injuries could have been diminished or minimized by the exercise of reasonable conduct using the available seatbelts.”

Morgan's lawsuit against Walmart, which was filed in federal court in Newark in July, says the truck driver, Kevin Roper, 35, hit him because he was overtired after staying awake for 24 hours and falling asleep behind the wheel. The lawsuit accuses Walmart of negligence.

Roper pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and four counts of assault by auto.

Morgan seeks punitive and compensatory damages in a jury trial.


Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Novato Accident Victim's Family Reaches Settlement

September 29, 2014

The family of a Novato girl who was killed by a vehicle received $1.12 million for their wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Novato, California.

$800,000 of the $1.12 million were paid by Tait North America, the employer of the driver who killed the victims, Hailey Ratliff, and Morningstar Farms, a horse stable near the scene of the accident. The City of Novato will pay for $30,000, and the remaining $290,000 will be covered by insurance.

Evidence that was discovered in the lawsuit revealed the driver of the vehicle, Samuel Lee boulware, was traveling 20 miles over the 45 mph speed limit when he hit and killed Hailey while she was riding her bicycle home on Sept. 27, 2012.

The Ratliff family insisted that Novato review speed and pedestrian safety on the road where the adjacent neighborhood does not offer proper foot access.

“We wanted two things: We wanted changes in the road and we wanted him prosecuted, and neither thing happened,” Angela Ratliff, Hailey's mother, said. “We grieve every day, still.”

Other families in the community agreed that the roads were in dangerous conditions.

In response to the City of Novato's agreement to evaluate the engineering and roadway conditions of the stree,t the Ratliff family said in a statement, “It is our hope that Novato's agreement to evaluate the engineering and roadway conditions will lead to a safer street for all of Novato's residents, particularly children, so that no family has to endure the lasting pain of losing a child.”


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