Wrongful Death- Head-On Collision

Samply v. Frasure & AZ Construction Co.,  Docket No. 07C-732 (Gibson Co. Cir., Tennessee 2005)

In this tragic case  we represented the wife and daughter of a man killed in a head-on collision on his way to work at approximately 7:45 a.m.  The defendant, driving a company vehicle, crossed the center line and traveled into our client’s lane killing him instantly.  Heartbreakingly, our client’s bible was found on the front seat next to him and he was found clutching a rosary and crucifix wrapped around his right palm. His wife testified that it was his habit to say his prayers on the way to work.  This fact brought a small glimmer of peace to our clients.  However, the defendant was only slightly injured and refused to take a blood alcohol test after the accident.  This failure to submit enraged our clients.  Unfortunately, the highway patrol officer responding to the scene was unaware that he could have forced the defendant to submit to a blood test because the case involved a death.  Because of the highway patrol’s failure, we were never able to prove that the defendant was impaired but we always suspected that to be the case.  

Notwithstanding the horrible facts of this accident, the defendants denied liability and argued that the driver was not working for his company at the time of the accident and tried unsuccessfully to get the case dismissed.  After we empanelled a jury, the case settled during the first day of trial after the victim’s wife spent several tearful hours on the stand talking about her husband. The defendants attempted to insist upon confidentially but our clients demanded they be allowed to tell the world about the case.  The case was settled for $1.7M.  However, while we have to make decisions about values and decide what is right for our clients, Mike was priceless and my clients would give it all back for another day with their husband and father.