Maryland Transportation Authority Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) just paid out $900,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit that stemmed from a high-speed chase, reported The Baltimore Sun.
The incident in question occurred in December 2015. At that time, MTA police officers attempted to stop a Hagerstown man near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Kane Street in Baltimore. But the Hagerstown man disregarded the police officers and refused to stop. Instead, he led police officers on a 15-mile, high-speed chase, at times exceeding 100 miles per hour.
While traveling northbound on Interstate 95, the Hagerstown man eventually lost control of his vehicle. After crossing the median into oncoming traffic, the man collided with another passenger vehicle near New Forge Road in Baltimore County. The driver of the other vehicle was a 52-year-old woman who was transporting her two daughters.
As a result of the accident, the 52-year-old woman died. Her two daughters sustained injury and received medical treatment. A passenger in the Hagerstown man’s vehicle also sustained severe injury during the accident and later died.
After the dust settled, the authorities charged the Hagerstown man with several crimes. The man later pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent manslaughter. After his trial, the man received an 18-year sentence in prison and a two-year period of probation.
Additionally, the 52-year-old woman’s surviving family members filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the MTA. In their lawsuit, the family members alleged that MTA police officers should have abandoned their pursuit of the Hagerstown man. But by continuing to engage in the high-speed chase, the MTA police officers helped cause the death of the 52-year-old woman.
As a reminder, Maryland law allows surviving family members to seek financial compensation for the death of a relative in specific circumstances. The surviving family members must demonstrate that a third party committed a wrongful act which led to the relative’s death. Though the amount of compensation varies based on the circumstances of the injury, family financial status and other relevant factors.
In this case, specifically, the surviving family members alleged that the MTA police officers were at fault for their relative’s untimely death. The family members argued that the chase was completely unnecessary. And as a result, the 52-year-old woman’s death was unnecessary as well.
Contending that the MTA police was at fault for the fatal accident, the 52-year-old woman’s surviving family members filed their lawsuit. If the wrongful death lawsuit would have progressed to trial, a judge or jury would have determined the appropriate amount of damages, if any. But in this case, the MTA decided to settle the case and avoid trial altogether.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you have legal questions about wrongful death lawsuits in Maryland, it can be decidedly practical to seek advice from skilled personal injury lawyer. The lawyers at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, have years of legal experience in the arena of personal injury law, including wrongful death lawsuits. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.