Motor Vehicle-Pedestrian Collision - $ 375,000.00

Injuries Alleged : fractures, ligament injuries, loss of consortium

Amount of Award/Settlement : $375,000.00 (at mediation)

Case Summary :

Plaintiff, a 40 year old woman single mother with a 16 year old daughter, left her place of employment at the end of the work day and was walking across an unlit road to the parking lot when she was struck by a motor vehicle operated by the defendant.  It was undisputed that it was dark and raining out at the time and that the plaintiff was approximately 22 feet into the road, having crossed one lane of travel and was in the lane the defendant was traveling prior to being struck.  The defendant stated that she did not see the plaintiff before the vehicle struck her and that it was like "she fell out of the sky."  Plaintiffs' counsel contended that the defendant was driving too fast given the lighting and weather conditions.  The Plaintiff had no memory of the event. A canvas of the area revealed no security cameras that could have recorded the event. The Defendant argued that her vehicle's headlamps were on and the plaintiff should have seen the vehicle well prior to entering into the road.

Given the substantial issue of Plaintiff's comparative negligence, the plaintiffs' counsel focused on the loss of consortium suffered by plaintiff's daughter who was 16 years old at the time of the accident.  Plaintiffs' counsel successfully argued at mediation, citing Feltch v. General Rental Company, 383 Mass 603 (1981),  that the daughter's loss of consortium claim was a separate and independent cause of action from her mother's claim and not subject to reduction by the proportion of negligence a jury could attribute to her mother under the comparative negligence statute.