Negligence - Pedestrian Struck in Crosswalk and Killed
Breakstone, White & Gluck, P.C., Boston (For the plaintiff)
The 33 year old victim was the mother of a 13 year old boy who lived in Kenya. She had moved to the United States four years prior to her death. While here, she married and established herself in the Boston community. Her goal was to bring her son to live with her in Massachusetts. She worked two jobs for three years to save money so that she would have a safe and secure home for her son to live in once he was allowed to immigrate to the United States. He was scheduled to come to the United States one month after she was killed.
On the date of the incident the victim left her house at 5:00 in the morning to walk to the bus to go to her job as a nursing assistant. A few minutes after she left the house she was hit by a car and killed. Due to the early morning hour that the fatality occurred there were no witnesses to the incident. Police came to the scene and the driver that hit her stayed at the scene and identified himself. However, he did not provide the police with any specifics as to how the incident occurred. The day after the incident the police obtained a copy of a supermarket parking lot security video which captured the intersection in question.
Police and the District Attorney would not reveal to the family’s attorney, Ronald E. Gluck of Breakstone, White and Gluck of Boston, what was shown on the video and requested that the supermarket not reveal the contents of the video due to a pending criminal investigation into the incident. The defendant driver would provide no testimony or information due to the potential criminal action against him stemming from the incident. As a result, the victim’s family had no idea for over one year how it came to be that she was hit by the car and killed.
Month by month Mr. Gluck contacted the director of security at the supermarket to inform him of the importance of the video to the family. Each month he refused to turn over the video. However, when the director of security for the supermarket left his job, efforts were made to persuade the new director to turn over the video. The new director agreed that it was unjust that the police and District Attorney knew how the innocent victim was killed but would not provide the information to the family. He agreed to bring the video to his deposition. At that time Mr. Gluck and the lawyer representing the driver in the civil law suit brought against him had an opportunity to see, for the first time, how the incident occurred.
The video showed that the woman was crossing the street in the crosswalk when the driver plowed into her when she was one step away from reaching the sidewalk. The defendant driver’s pickup truck propelled her into the air. She landed in the roadway with the pickup truck on top of her chest.
Within two weeks of the production of the video the defendant’s insurer offered its policy limits. The victim’s son, who continues to reside in Kenya, received 75% of the net proceeds from the settlement. The victim’s husband of two years received 25%. The son’s proceeds were placed into a structured settlement which will afford him a good education and financial security for the rest of his life.