Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Death of pair of twins results in wrongful death lawsuit

A wrongful death action has been ongoing in a Pennsylvania court concerning a driver causing a car wreck while reportedly being under the influence of as spice (sometimes thought to be a type of synthetic cannabis). The accident resulted in a pair of twins celebrating their 40th birthday being killed.

The driver was operating a dump truck at the time he was claimed to be under the influence of the substance. The dump truck apparently crossed the medium of a Pennsylvania interstate highway, went airborne, and then crashed into the Nissan that was being operated by one of the two twins. The roof of the Nissan was torn away, and the two twins died at the scene of the crash.

Family members filed this wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and his employer. In their complaint they requested punitive damages. The request for punitive damages was later struck because it is not allowed under Pennsylvania law in a wrongful death action. However, a federal judge did state that the family members could seek punitive damages under survival and negligent entrustment claims.

Such claims do involve complex legal maneuvering, and it's impossible to know as of yet whether punitive damages will actually be awarded in this matter. Though the case can now be scrutinized to determine whether punitive damages would be warranted, it will be up to the plaintiffs and their attorneys to demonstrate that these damages should be awarded.

The circumstances of these sorts of cases are no doubt devastating to family members. However, the proper resolution for these types of matters is not always easy because attorneys for defendants will do all they can to defend their client. It's because of this that experienced attorneys are needed to get a correct resolution in these wrongful death matters.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Punitive Award Possible in Spice-Related Crash," by Rose Bouboushian, Feb. 28, 2013

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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