Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

A 24-year-old pastry chef, Emily Fredericks, rode her bicycle from her apartment to her job at a restaurant in Philadelphia in November 2017.  As she approached an intersection, a garbage truck driven alongside her by Jorge Fretts, an employee of the waste disposal company Gold Medal Environmental, prepared to make a right turn across her path.

About 40 feet from the intersection, Fretts had passed a road sign telling drivers to “Yield to Bikes.”

Fretts chose not to yield or even check his surroundings and made the turn without using his turn signal. The truck struck Emily’s bike, knocked her to the ground and ran over her, crushing her chest. She died from her injuries.

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Janet Pulver, 66, was several yards away from an intersection when a vehicle driven by Bennett Dunbar crashed into Pulver’s car head-on.  Pulver suffered serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, and died only 28 hours later. She had been retired but was taking care of her grandchildren everyday. She was survived by her two adult children and grandchildren.

Pulver’s family and estate sued Dunbar alleging that he was driving recklessly and traveling at almost 80 mph in a 40-mph zone at the time of the crash.

Dunbar lost control of his vehicle, which crossed the center line of the highway and hit Pulver’s car head-on. The report of this case inexplicably stated that defendant disputed the plaintiff’s damages claim.

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After a party, Vivence Bugilimfura drove seven of his friends home in his employer’s van. He had been drinking. He crashed the van into a concrete highway divider. All but one of the passengers who were in their early 20s were ejected from the van. Two of the passengers suffered fatal injuries, and the others’ injuries ranged from a bruised lung to multiple fractures. The medical expenses of those who survived ranged from approximately $26,300 to $496,100.

The lawsuit on behalf of the injured and deceased passengers alleged that Bugilimfura and his employer, All Citizens Transportation, were liable for the crash. The plaintiffs argued that All Citizens negligently entrusted the van to Bugilimfura, who had only recently received his driver’s license. The plaintiffs also maintained that Bugilimfura was driving while intoxicated. The lawsuit did not claim lost income.

The jury signed a verdict for the plaintiffs who were either injured or killed in the amount of approximately $15.4 million finding the defendants joint and severally liable. Essentially, the verdict means that All Citizens Transportation could pay the entire amount of the jury’s verdict.

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Yadvinder Singh, a 30-year-old truck driver, was hired by Destination Anywhere Inc. to haul aggregate materials from Granite Construction Company‘s facility to a construction site. He drove his dump truck to Granite Construction, where an employee loaded it with washed sand.  As Singh drove the truck toward his destination, its right front tire blew out. That caused his truck to leave the road and overturn. Singh was severely injured, taken to a nearby hospital and died that evening. He was survived by his wife and two minor children. He had been earning approximately $50,000 per year.

Singh’s family sued Destination Anywhere claiming it chose not to perform a mandatory safety check on the dump truck two days before the incident. It was alleged that had this inspection been done, it would have been discovered that the front tire’s tread depth was significantly below the limit. The lawsuit also alleged that Granite Construction’s employee was negligent in overloading the truck.

The defendant argued that Singh had routinely instructed aggregate suppliers to load his truck fully. The defendant also argued that maintaining the truck, which Singh had leased from Destination Anywhere, was his responsibility and duty.

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Bronson Ganka was a maintenance worker for Apartments Downtown Inc.,  a private company that builds apartments in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa City is a college town where the University of Iowa is located. Ganka was 40 at the time.

While he was drilling holes into a building he was working on, he fell off a ladder and hit the ground 12 feet below.

Ganka suffered head injuries and died several days later. He was survived by his wife, a minor child and two adult children.

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Margarita Martinez was crossing a city street in a crosswalk when Robert Lane, driving a van for the defendant Premium Laundry Corp., began turning left into the intersection.  The van hit Martinez, 79, and dragged her several car lengths.

Martinez sustained multiple severe injuries, including fractures to her ribs, spine, pelvis, and left tibia and fibula. She also suffered a lung contusion and a facial laceration.

She was rushed to a hospital emergency room, but she unfortunately died of respiratory and cardiac arrest within an hour of her arrival. She is survived by her husband, Mario Martinez.

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F&H Coatings LLC is a commercial and industrial painting contractor that contracted with Boardman LLC, a manufacturer of steel pressure vessels and tanks. F&H was contracted to sandblast and paint a number of vessels at Boardman’s manufacturing facility. During the contract work, a fatal incident at the Boardman facility killed Tony Losey, an employee of F&H.

At the time of this of this fatal accident, Losey and his F&H supervisor were preparing a 12,000 -pound vessel for sandblasting when the vessel slipped from its supporting racks and crushed Losey.

F & H characterized this event as a “freakish, unforeseeable, and still-unexplained accident.”

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In 1959 George Lucas started working as a longshore laborer and clerk at various San Francisco Bay-area piers where ships were loaded and unloaded with cargo.

Reportedly during his breaks, he would venture into the ship’s engine rooms to stay warm.  Often, employees of shipyard contractor Triple A Machine Shop Inc. were in the same engine rooms removing and replacing asbestos-containing insulation, gaskets and packing.

The work that he was doing exposed him to substantial amounts of asbestos dust. His bystander exposure from Triple A employees’ work continued until 1986.

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The plaintiff in this lawsuit, Roscoe Giles, was the representative and administrator of the estate of his brother, Morris Giles. Giles filed suit two years and one day after the death of his brother who was hit by a tow truck while walking through a cross-walk. When there is a sudden traumatic injurious event, the cause of action accrues, and the statute of limitations begins to run on the date the injury occurs.

As the original lawsuit complaint was not timely filed, no subsequent pleading can relate back to it. Any legal disability on the part of the decedent, and any negligence by the Giles’ attorney, cannot extend the statute of limitations.

Roscoe Giles, Morris’s brother, retained an attorney to sue Robert Parks, the tow truck’s owner and operator. On Dec. 23, 2014, exactly two years after Morris’s death, counsel for Roscoe filed the lawsuit, a survival claim. Survival claims have a statute of limitations of two years.

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Brian Squire hit a bicycle rider while driving his car. The bicyclist died from injuries six months later.

GEICO, Squire’s automobile insurer, never offered the bicyclist or his estate Squire’s $300,000 policy limits or attempted to settle with the decedent’s estate and family.

In addition, the insurer, GEICO, allowed several settlement offers by the estate and family of the bicyclist to expire.

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