Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Driver stopped at red light, did not look up before moving – $100,000 Settlement

Driver stopped at red light, did not look up before moving – $100,000 Settlement

The plaintiff and her mother had driven together to the plaintiff’s gym on May 20, 2014. The plaintiff’s mother, a native and part-time resident of the People’s Republic of China, decided to walk home from the gym at approximately 9:30 p.m. While crossing State Route 29/Lee Highway in the dark and approximately 300 feet south of the intersection with Trinity Parkway, the plaintiff’s mother was struck and killed by the defendant. Prior to contacting Kalfus & Nachman, the plaintiff’s claim had been rejected by two other law firms.
Review of the police report revealed that the defendant had admitted that he saw the plaintiff’s mother crossing the oncoming lanes of travel, while still stopped at the traffic signal. He then returned his attention to changing the music on his telephone. Upon receiving a green signal, the defendant placed his vehicle in motion without returning his view to the road. Despite actual knowledge that the plaintiff’s mother was somewhere to his front, he never returned his gaze to the road. The plaintiff’s mother was struck by the defendant’s vehicle and another vehicle to the defendant’s right. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Suit was filed, including an allegation that the defendant was guilty of willful and wanton conduct because he had actual knowledge that the plaintiff’s mother was crossing the road, yet placed his vehicle in motion without ever looking up from his phone prior to striking the plaintiff’s mother. The allegation of willful and wanton negligence would also obviate the plaintiff’s mother’s obvious contributory negligence in crossing the highway in the dark and not at an intersection. Suit was not filed against the other involved driver because contributory negligence would have been a defense to a suit against that defendant. Following the filing of the anticipated demurrer by defense counsel and the exchange of briefs, the matter was resolved for the available liability and UI limits prior to a hearing on the demurrer.


Type of action: Wrongful Death

Injuries alleged: Death caused proximately caused by the willful and wanton conduct of the defendant.

Name of case: Jingxia Wu, Administrator of the Estate of Benfeng Liu v. Armides Umanzor, Jr.

Court: Fairfax County Circuit Court

Case no.: CL2016-4843

Date resolved: April 28, 2017

Special damages: Death

Demand: $100,000

Offer: $0 prior to suit

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $100,000

Attorneys for plaintiff: Thomas A Fitzgerald II, Norfolk

Insurance carrier: Liability Coverage – Alfa Specialty Insurance Corporation/UI Coverage – Allstate Insurance

Verdicts & Settlements

See All Verdicts & Settlements

Opinion Digests

See All Digests