A jury awarded a 13-year-old California girl $150 million in a wrongful death lawsuit following a car accident in which her family burned to death.
This is a tragedy of grand proportions that could have been prevented but for the negligence of a truck driver who chose to illegally park beside a freeway in a manner that created a hazard to oncoming traffic. California Vehicle Code 22500 prohibits any vehicle from parking or standing stationary adjacent to a highway in a manner the obstructs the flow of traffic. It sounds like the trucker in question testified inconsistently as to why he parked when and where he did and the jury found the weight of the evidence to support a claim that he acted in an unreasonable manner and caused multiple deaths.
Some would argue that the jury award of $150 million seems excessive. California law gives full discretion to a civil jury, however, to determine the value of the loss of human life including, in this case, the lifetime loss of the love, society, comfort and companionship that would have been provided by the girl’s family had they not been killed.
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