Pedestrian Killed by Out of Control Vehicle on Strip Mall Sidewalk
WRSH Partner, obtained a $600,000 settlement for the estate of a man who was killed by an out of control vehicle in a strip mall parking lot, which had jumped onto the sidewalk, destroying several concrete planters and a park bench before striking and killing our client. Tragically, this horrific event was witnessed by the six year old daughter of the decedent. The recovery exceeded the total available insurance proceeds by $100,000 because WRSH Partner convinced the driver's family members to contribute personally to the settlement.
This terrible event occurred on a beautiful summer day when our client and his 6 year old daughter went to a local shopping plaza to run some errands. At that time, the father was seated on a park bench on the sidewalk in front of the stores, while his daughter played on a scooter near her father. At the same time, approximately 200 feet away, an elderly driver was attempting to back out of a parking space, what she did not realize was that she had actually placed the vehicle's transmission into "drive" rather than "reverse." As she continued to apply power to the vehicle, her front tires kept hitting the tire blocks at the front of her parking space. When the driver abruptly stepped on her gas pedal, the vehicle took off uncontrollably, driving over the tire blocks, up a curb and through a landscaped median and up onto the sidewalk of this outdoor shopping plaza. The vehicle continued driving along the sidewalk in front of the stores and towards our client and his daughter. Our client valiantly jumped off the park bench and ran towards his daughter who was still riding her scooter. While frantically yelling to his daughter to get out of the way, he was run over by the vehicle and instantly killed. His daughter, while physically safe, was emotionally scarred by witnessing her father's death. A witness on the scene removed the child from the scene of the accident until her mother could pick her up.
WRSH Partner sued the 90 year old driver of the car, who unfortunately had only $500,000 of insurance on her vehicle and no attachable assets to satisfy an excess judgment. However, WRSH Partner was able to negotiate an additional $100,000 of the settlement proceeds from the children of the defendant driver, even though they were not defendants in this action and had no legal obligation to pay anything towards the settlement of this matter.