Bachus & Schanker, LLC Client Awarded Confidential Settlement Amount for Wrongful Death Caused by Motor Vehicle Accident
18-year-old Angela was a passenger in her friend's car. The two were driving on Colorado Highway 160 approaching the intersection of Colorado Highway 160 and County Road 700 East Junction. At the same time, Chris, who was driving a pickup truck owned by his employer was driving toward the two girls from the opposite direction. Chris claims that he had a coughing fit which caused him to cross the centerline and crash into the car with Angela and her friend. The collision caused the car Angela was in to spin around and land in a ditch. The two girls were killed in the collision.
At the time of the collision, Chris was chewing and swallowing tobacco and which caused him to have violent coughing attacks all day. Chris was also speeding at least 13 miles an hour over the posted speed limit at the time of the collision with the girls' car. Chris had a history of reckless and unsafe driving, including speeding and a previous DWI while employed with the owner of the truck. However, Chris's employer ignored Chris's prior driving history and allowed him to continue driving for them.
Bachus & Schanker, LLC on behalf of Angela's parents, sued Chris and his employer for for Wrongful Death under Colorado's Wrongful Death Statute. Chris tried to say that Angela and Jessica failed to take evasive action and avoid his car and that somehow Angela and Jessica contributed to the cause of the accident, which caused their deaths. Chris insisted that he was faced with a sudden emergency because he was coughing and he couldn't control his cough. Chris's employer said it did not know that Chris posed an unreasonable risk of causing harm to others
During depositions Chris testified that he believes that speed limits are unconstitutional and that in order for a speed law to be constitutional, the law must be voted on by the people. Chris testified that he believes that speed laws are just a device by which the government extorts money from the people. Chris further testified during his deposition that he does not even bother to pull over to go to the restroom when driving. He testified that he uses a spittoon that he keeps in his vehicle as a urinal and further, he relieves himself while driving and then empties the urinal/spittoon out his window.
After a hard fought legal battle, where the liability of the driver was disputed, the parties attended a mediation prior to a trial and the defendants agreed to settle the case without going to trial. The amount of the settlement is confidential.