P.I. Pulse: $80 Million Award in Case of Sand Suffocation

Dec. 18th, 2013   /   ,

According to most people, suffocating to death and drowning are among the worst ways to die (as if there is a “good” way to die).

As it turns out, though, a woman in New Mexico experienced a combination of the two “worst” ways to die when her car was hit by a truck filled with sand. The truck began to leak sand all over the car, causing the woman to suffocate to death in what became a pool of sand.

The victim had just dropped off her young son at school when, as she sat in her car at a green light, the sand-carrying truck barreled off the highway toward her vehicle, eventually crushing it and covering it with sand. As the sand poured onto and into the car, teachers and students who saw the crash ran and tried to assist the woman, but to no avail.

As this USA TODAY article notes, according to the family’s lawyer, who has helped the family fight for justice these past ten years, the school counselor stayed with the woman until she died, holding her hand until her hand could grip no more.

The family of the victim filed the wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the truck, Albuquerque Redi-Mix. Finally, just this month, the family will be able to see some semblance of justice following a decade of torment. The judge overseeing the case entered a judgment against Albuquerque Redi-Mix, awarding the family of the deceased woman $80 million, $60 million of which is in punitive damages.

The truck’s driver was clearly at fault, and thus the company, who owned the truck that he was driving for work, is liable. An investigation into the accident revealed that the truck had an expired registration and the trucks’ brakes were out of adjustment; furthermore, the driver of the truck had two previous DUI charges.

Wrongful death cases are emotionally painful for all parties involved, especially the plaintiff party, the family of the deceased individual. This case was particularly excruciating, given that it took roughly a decade to move from incident to award. Still, these types of cases do provide the families of the victims with a way to seek some sort of justice. While there is certainly never any amount of money that can truly remedy the loss of a loved one, financial compensation from the negligent party can provide both a sense of closure and true financial assistance in filling the voids to which a price can be ascribed.

For example, if the deceased victim was the primary provider for the household, when they died, so too did the ability to pay for food, heat, etc. Adequate financial compensation can ensure that, as the family comes to grips with life without a loved one, they don’t have to be worried about basic necessities. Financial compensation can also help cover the ever-rising costs of psychology and psychiatry, the utilization of which can be of great medical benefit following the loss of a loved one.

If one of your family members has been wrongfully taken from you due to the negligent (or criminal) actions of another, please let us know. You have options and we can help you ensure that they become a reality.

To schedule a free consultation with the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Aronberg and Aronberg, please reach out to us by calling 561-266-9191 or emailing us at daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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