Wrongful death cases are some of the most tragic incidents to ever enter the courtroom, but they happen more than you might imagine. While you hear about them occurring in other states and countries, some significant wrongful death cases have happened right here in Utah; here are two of the largest ones.
2015 Fatal Trucking Collision
In 2015, a driver pulled over to the side of the road when his vehicle broke down. The driver took all of the necessary precautions to protect himself while he was inspecting his vehicle’s engine: he turned on the vehicle’s emergency lights, hung an orange safety flag from the rear of his car and was even using a headlamp. During the time in which the victim was checking under his hood, an oncoming semi struck him.
The jury had determined that the wrongful death was due to injuries sustained after the semi-truck drifted into the emergency lane and struck the victim, causing them to hit the passenger-side mirror with their head. The jury also concluded that the trucking company, New Prime Inc., had failed to train the driver correctly.
A wrongful death attorney and their legal team reached a settlement of $1.875 million for the victim’s family after the jury held the defendants 75% guilty for the victim’s wrongful death.
2014 Shooting Involving Saratoga Springs Police
In the fall of 2014, Darien Hunt was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs Police. The incident occurred after law enforcement responded to a call about a man wielding a sword. The police department claimed that they were provoked to shoot after the victim swung his sword at them, leading to a chase which concluded in police shooting Hunt six times.
Wrongful death attorney Bob Sykes brought up multiple claims that went on to show there was no proof of Hunt lunging or swinging his sword at the police. He also stated that Hunt wasn’t breaking any laws by walking around openly with a sword and that the officer turned off his body cam during the accident.
Initially, Sykes said that the family was asking for $2 million in damages, but the family would ultimately settle for $900,000 after an accidental agreement was signed, leading to Sykes’s dismissal. The family was disappointed with the settlement but said they would use the money to leave Saratoga Springs.
These are two of the most covered wrongful deaths that have occurred in Utah. If you require legal representation in the event of such a tragedy, contact a wrongful death attorney here at Robert J. DeBry and Associates.