Motor Vehicle Negligence ­ Death - $500,000

Collision With Motorcycle $500,000
Injuries alleged:
Court: Suffolk Superior Court
Amount of settlement: $500,000

Case Summary:
The plaintiff's decedent was a 28-year-old landscaper. The defendant made a left-hand turn into his driveway, 'cutting off' the plaintiff's motorcycle and causing him to slide head first into the rear of the defendant's car where he struck his head. The plaintiff died three days later, never having regained consciousness.

The defendant was charged with negligent homicide but found not guilty at the time of the criminal trial. However, in the civil trial, the plaintiff engaged an accident reconstructionist who was able to demonstrate that the defendant may have been negligent at the time of the accident, and also cast doubt on the veracity of the sworn testimony of the defendant at the time of his criminal trial and during his civil deposition. The case was complicated, however, by the fact that the plaintiff's accident reconstruction expert opined that the plaintiff's decedent was traveling at least 10 miles an hour over the speed limit.

It was the defendant's contention that, inasmuch as the plaintiff's head struck the right rear of the defendant's car after it had turned, had the plaintiff been going 10 miles an hour slower, his head would have missed the defendant's car and he would not have suffered the fatal head injury.

The plaintiff's decedent left one heir, an 8-year-old son, who was born out of wedlock and never resided with the plaintiff's decedent.

The case was settled approximately one week after the final pretrial conference.