Type of action: Wrongful death
Injuries alleged: Wrongful death – motor vehicle accident
Court: Newport News Circuit Court
Name of judge or mediator: Judge Charles Poston (Ret.)
Date resolved: 10/15/2020
Demand: Policy limits
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Attorney(s) for plaintiff (and city): David B. Holt and J. Ashton Wray
Description of Case: Plaintiff was walking home from her work at Popeye’s in Newport News when she was struck and killed by a car driven by the defendant as she was crossing Jefferson Ave, close to her home. She made it almost all the way across 7 lanes of the roadway when she was struck by defendant’s truck at approximately 30MPH, when she was only a foot from the curb.
This was a hotly contested case on liability issues, as she was walking home late at night, in the dark, she was wearing dark clothing, and neither speed nor alcohol was involved. After taking multiple depositions of the driver, the investigating officer, and other witnesses and business owners, the case was set for trial in Newport News Circuit Court. Plaintiff’s counsel found several theories of negligence during the discovery and investigative phase of the litigation. Yet defendants claimed the decedent assumed the risk of crossing the street at the wrong place, out of an intersection, on a very dark road, in dark clothing, and not paying attention to the roadway around her.
After a full day of negotiations, the case resolved for $110,000.