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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / 14-year-old killed at crosswalk while preparing for first day of high school — $4,007,478 verdict

14-year-old killed at crosswalk while preparing for first day of high school — $4,007,478 verdict

Type of action: Wrongful death

Injuries alleged: Wrongful death by motor vehicle v. pedestrian

Court: Norfolk Circuit Court

Tried before: Jury

Name of judge or mediator: Judge Junius P. Fulton III

Date resolved: 4/19/2021

Special damages: Funeral expenses totaling $7,478

Verdict or settlement: Verdict

Amount: $4,007,478

Attorney for plaintiff (and city): Adam Lotkin, Norfolk

Description of case: Plaintiff’s decedent, a 14-year-old son, was preparing for his first day of high school, on his way home from a local convenience store when he was struck in a crosswalk. He was looking forward to 9th grade and had gone with friends for snacks to pack to take to school the next day. As he crossed the street during daylight hours, while in a designated and marked crosswalk, leaving a local public recreation park on his scooter, he was struck by a passenger vehicle driven by a driver in his 20s who allegedly was operating his vehicle too fast for the residential area and conditions. The decedent was dragged nearly 100 feet before the vehicle stopped and he was pronounced dead at the scene. While the decedent did not have a job or verifiable career, he had expressed ambitions for military service to his family and friends and was an excellent athlete. According to the witness testimony, he enjoyed spending time with his siblings, friends, playing Xbox, basketball, football and fishing.

The case was tried on admitted liability (damages only) in order to lessen the emotional carnage to the parties as there was only very limited insurance coverage and no assets to recover from any defendant. Defense counsel was professional, considerate and respectful in this tragic case at trial. The jury trial lasted only one day but provided a meaningful closure for the family, parents and siblings of the deceased child. The jurors were attentive, considerate and visibly upset by the untimely passing and circumstances of the case. Counsel for the estate asked the jury for a range within the jury’s ultimate verdict. The judgment was not docketed to protect the defendant who was also affected by the tragic collision.