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Fatal accident on Cape Cod leads to nearly $2 million judgment

A wrongful death lawsuit that has been pending on Cape Cod for more than 2.5 years is nearing completion. Three of the four counts from the formal complaint have been resolved, with the remaining count scheduled for trial in March. The lawsuit arose from a fatal accident that occurred in Hyannis in mid-May 2010.

On the night of the tragedy, a 47-year-old Cape Cod woman in a motorized wheelchair was attempting to cross a street in Hyannis. It was just about 10 p.m. and raining heavily. A now 21-year-old woman had been drinking with friends at the Holly Tree Resort Hotel in West Yarmouth. She, along with a passenger, was driving to a local store when her car struck the wheelchair bound woman and dragged her a distance of about 50 feet.

The victim’s purse became stuck on the car’s windshield briefly, and the air bags in the vehicle deployed. Nevertheless, the driver did not stop and returned to the hotel where she had been drinking. She was arrested two days later, following a police investigation. She faced numerous criminal charges and was ultimately convicted and sentenced to spend three years in jail. She was also sued for wrongful death in the month following the crash.

In March 2012, three of the wrongful death counts were resolved when a judge in Barnstable Superior Court approved a judgment for almost $2 million. The fourth count, which involves a clause in the insurance policy providing for payment for vehicle repairs, is still pending trial. The civil lawsuit has likely brought some measure of justice to the victim’s family for this tragic fatal accident. While the money to be paid cannot undo the events that resulted in the death of their loved one, the family may take some solace in holding the driver fully accountable for her negligent acts.

Source: CapeCodOnline.com, “Driver in fatal crash on hook for $2M,” Steve Doane, Feb. 6, 2013