Bachus & Schanker, LLC Client Awarded $3.2 Million For Wrongful Death of Parents
A Denver jury ordered a man with more than 10 prior traffic collisions to pay the family of a couple that he killed approximately $3.2 million.
MW, the daughter of Clinton and Sophie, with the help of the law firm Bachus & Schanker, LLC, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Denver District Court after the tragic death of her parents in October 2004.
Clinton and Sophie were driving home on South Monroe St. from their daily breakfast at the Village Inn in their Buick. As they were crossing the intersection of Mississippi Avenue, a 29-year-old man, who was driving a BMW sports car traveling more than twice the speed limit, crashed into Clinton and Sophie's car. Clinton, 85, died at the scene of the accident, and his wife Sophie, 83, died later in the day at the hospital.
Clinton and Sophie had been married for more than 60 years. They were pillars of the Denver community, owning several restaurants including Andy's Smorgasbord, which was one of the city's first and most lavish buffet restaurants.
The Defendant, had a driving record that included more than 10 traffic collisions within the five years preceding the date of this accident. The speed limit at the intersection where the accident occurred was 25 miles per hour. Accident reconstruction experts estimated during the trial that the Defendant must have been traveling at least 60 mph in this residential neighborhood at the time he struck Clinton and Sophie. Evidence presented at trial indicated that the Defendant did not attempt to brake or slow down before crashing into Clinton and Sophie. Additionally, at the time of the accident, the Defendant was only driving with an adult instructional permit which required him to have a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the car with him at all times while he was driving. He did not have anyone in the sports car with him.
The Defendant never expressed any remorse or offered MW or her family an apology for his reckless, irresponsible conduct.
After the presentation of the evidence, the jury found the Defendant liable for $2 million in punitive damages as punishment for his willful and wanton conduct and reckless disregard for the safety of others. The jury also ordered the Defendant to pay MW $1 million for her grief, emotional suffering and loss of her parents, as well as nearly $200,000 in economic damages.