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Hard-Fought Cases: Justice in the Sunlight

By: Larry E. Coben, Anapol Weiss Shareholder

Securing a Seven-Figure Settlement in a Tragic Crosswalk Incident

One sunny morning, an 82-year-old stroke victim was heading home after spending a few hours at a local tavern when tragedy struck. Riding on his motorized scooter, he began crossing a street in the marked crosswalk when he was run down by a police SUV. Over the next 4 months, this gentleman was hospitalized until he died from multiple complications. His adult children, who had a spotty relationship with their dad over the years, asked our referring attorney to take on this case. Two years later, with expert witness discovery due in a few months and a trial looming in 6 months, we were asked to jump in and represent the family. We gladly and proudly did so. After carrying out an extensive investigation and deposing several witnesses, including the offending police officer,  we were able to obtain a seven-figure settlement for the family.

An aggressive pursuit of the truth about why this tragedy occurred showed  the following:

Our human factors and accident reconstructionist met at the scene on the anniversary of this tragedy to photographically document the scene with the rising sun—since the police officer claimed the sun was shining in his eyes.

Here is what  we proved as a car approached the crosswalk:

Hard-Fought Cases - Justice in the Sunlight - SUV 70 Feet AwayHard-Fought Cases - Justice in the Sunlight - SUV 70 Feet Away

Our aggressive and quick investigation showed that there was no excuse for this tragedy. The police officer was either daydreaming or distracted. And, while the  defendant was not cited for this tragic incident—which seemed quite odd—he  violated the state motor vehicle code:

Hard-Fought Cases - Justice in the Sunlight - ExcerptHard-Fought Cases - Justice in the Sunlight - Excerpt

Before the start of the trial, the defendants argued that our client’s father was intoxicated and, therefore, he was not blameless. That was a defense claim we hoped would be pursued at trial because blaming the helpless victim is the fastest way to get a jury angry with a careless defendant!

Cooler heads prevailed, and we resolved this case and preserved this family’s fond memories of their father.