PICKUP VS. ELDERLY PEDESTRIAN FATALITY
A 75 year-old pedestrian walking across street in a grimy commercial area at night was struck and killed by oncoming 1-ton, diesel powered pickup operated by our client and owned by his grandparents. Our client began to swerve at the last second but collided with and killed the pedestrian. Plaintiffs here were his widow and seven adult children. Plaintiffs claimed that our client swerved from the No. 2 and into the No. 1 lane immediately before impact causing the collision with the decedent, that the decedent was visible to our client. They claimed that our client had night vision deficits, that he was under the influence of a prescription drug at the time of the accident, and that he refused to provide a blood sample after the accident.
We claimed that the decedent was dressed entirely in dark blue in a poorly illuminated area, that the decedent crossed a five lane street, that he attempted to “beat” the pickup, and that the decedent should have crossed at an intersection where there was better illumination. We denied that our client was under the influence of any medication, that he had night vision problems, and that he refused to submit to a blood test after the accident.
Plaintiffs requested that the jury award a total of $2,225,680.00. After 11 days of trial, the jury returned a defense verdict.
Plaintiffs demanded $1 million at private mediation, and a very firm $250,000.00 at the Mandatory Settlement Conference. We made an offer of $110,000.00 at the mediation, and it was followed immediately by a C.C.P. §998 Offer in that amount.
All in all, it was a very satisfying victory against an opponent who was the Plaintiffs’ Bar’s “Trial Lawyer of the Year.”