$3.8 Million Settlement in I-83 Wrongful Death Crash Lawsuit in York, Pa.
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on December 6th, 2013
The family of a Monroe, N.Y., woman who died in a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 83 near York, Pa., on May 30, 2011, will receive a settlement of $3.8 million to end a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family after the tragedy.
Susan Gunther, who was a 53-year-old school teacher at the time of the crash, was heading back home to Monroe after dropping her daughter off at nursing school in York when a northbound car-carrier truck traveling next to her Subaru Impreza pulled into her lane, pushing her into and atop the center highway barrier, according to a Dec. 5 story in The Legal Intelligencer.
Gunther’s Subaru was dragged about 166 feet along the top of the barrier before being struck by a southbound bakery truck on the other side of the highway, according to the story.
The car’s hood became unlatched due to the second collision and was forced into the passenger compartment, killing Gunther, according to a story in The York Daily Record at the time of the incident.
The auto transporter that pulled into Gunther’s lane was being driven by Alan Hubbell of New Braunfells, Texas, a driver for Dependable Auto Shippers, while the Schmidt Baking Company truck was being operated by driver Royal Stewart, according to The Legal Intelligencer.
Gunther’s husband, Timothy Gunther, filed the wrongful death lawsuit after the crash on behalf of himself and the couple’s four children. The Gunther’s were married for 30 years. Dependable Auto Shippers settled the case with the family for an undisclosed amount before the case went to trial, according to the report.
In a pre-trial memo from lawyers for Schmidt Baking, the defendants argued that Hubbell, the driver of the auto transporter, “changed lanes oblivious to the presence of Ms. Gunther” and that “Hubbell claims he never saw Ms. Gunther’s vehicle before, during, and after changing lanes until he subsequently looked in his mirror and saw her tumbling into oncoming traffic,” according to The Legal Intelligencer report.
“Mr. Hubbell offers no reason for not seeing her,” the baking company pretrial memo stated, according to The Legal Intelligencer. “Equipped with multiple mirrors, he admitted that there were no blind spots around his vehicle other than directly behind it.”
Dependable Auto Shippers, however, blamed the bulk of the responsibility in the crash on the operator of the baking company truck, which was determined to be traveling at a speed of 71 mph in a 55 mph zone, according to the story. “The fatality was caused solely by the reckless and unlawful driving of Royal Stewart for Schmidt Baking Company,” based on the auto shipper’s memo.
The jury found that both defendants were negligent, with 75 percent of the negligence being assessed against Dependable Auto Shippers and the remaining 25 percent being assessed to Schmidt Baking, the story reported.
These kinds of cases occur every day when innocent victims are hurt in vehicle accidents through no fault of their own due to the actions or indifference of others. That’s where having a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award is key.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.