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Driver killed in head-on collision on Route 15 — $3,500,000 settlement

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//September 5, 2022

Driver killed in head-on collision on Route 15 — $3,500,000 settlement

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//September 5, 2022//

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Type of action: Wrongful death

Injuries alleged: Multiple fractures and severe injuries, death

Court: Loudoun Circuit Court

Name of judge or mediator: Judge Johanna Fitzpatrick (Ret.)

Date resolved: 1/12/2022

Special damages: Past medical bills totaling $463,115; funeral expenses totaling $3,762; and wage loss totaling $501,114

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $3,500,000

Attorney for plaintiff (and city): Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond


Description of case: This wrongful death case arose out of a commercial vehicle crash that occurred on Nov. 26, 2019, in Loudoun County. The decedent was driving southbound on Route 15. The defendant was driving a Ford Transit van northbound on Route 15. The crash occurred when the defendant swerved to avoid a slower moving vehicle, crossed the double yellow line and crashed into the decedent’s vehicle head-on. The closing speed of the two vehicles was greater than 70 mph. The defendant later pled guilty to reckless driving.

The decedent was transported emergently to the emergency department. Despite fluid resuscitation, he remained hypotensive and a massive transfusion protocol was initiated. Diagnostic studies confirmed traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhages with subcutaneous hematomas as well as fractures of the left iliac wing, manubrium, left C5-7 transverse processes, and multiple ribs bilaterally. Additionally, a laceration of the left kidney was found as well as a left pneumothorax for which a left chest tube was placed. Numerous consultations were ordered to address his injuries including consults by orthopedics, vascular surgery, trauma, interventional radiology, cardiology, spine, and neurosurgery. He underwent immobilization of numerous arteries by interventional radiology for bleeding in the setting of post-traumatic hemorrhage. He was then transferred to ICU for further assessment and care.

On Dec. 3, 2019, the decedent was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, or SIRS, and sepsis and his condition further declined. He remained intubated and underwent a bronchoscopy, EGD, percutaneous tracheostomy placement, and PEG tube placement. Given his continued medical challenges, he was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility in Richmond where he died on Dec. 31, 2019.

The decedent was 71 years old. Although he suffered a mild stroke in 2016, he fully recovered and resumed working part-time up to the time of the crash. Beneficiaries included the decedent’s wife of 48 years and two adult sons. Given the decedent’s age, the lost income and lost household services claim was contested. The case settled two months before trial.

Jason W. Konvicka, counsel for the plaintiff, provided case information. [022-T-098]

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