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$7 Million Recovery for Injuries and Death Caused by Alleged Drunk Driver

Attorneys Alan M. Feldman, Daniel J. Mann, and Edward S. Goldis represented a late-aged couple who were driving their Toyota Camry southbound on a two-lane road in Bucks County, approaching a “T” intersection. As they entered the intersection, a Toyota 4Runner operated by a drunk driver northbound turned left into their path. The resulting collision caused the death of Mary and disabling injuries to Joe, who passed away three years after the accident.

A blood test determined that the drunk driver had a blood alcohol content of .082 percent, which is three-thousandths of a percentage point over the legal limit. In a subsequent trial, he was convicted of driving under the influence. A civil action was filed by the adult children of Mary and Joe, seeking damages under Pennsylvania’s Wrongful Death and Survival Acts and punitive damages against the drunk driver and his employer, based upon evidence that the drunk driver was in the course of his employment when the accident occurred.

Plaintiff retained Feldman, Mann, and Goldis to prepare the case for trial. Disputed fact issues included defendants’ contentions that the alleged drunk driver was not impaired, Mary was comparatively negligent for speeding into the intersection, Mary did not experience any conscious pain and suffering, and Joe’s passing was brought about not by his relatively modest accident-related injuries, but by his pre-existing Parkinson’s Disease.

After selecting a jury in October 2014, the case settled with contributions from the employer’s primary and excess insurance carriers and from the drunk driver’s personal auto insurance carrier for a total of $7 million. The identity of the parties remains confidential by agreement.