Car Crash

$32M Verdict in Pittsburgh Car Crash that Killed a Child

The family of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in a 2012 vehicle crash in Pittsburgh, Pa., has been awarded a $32 million verdict in the case by an Allegheny County jury.

The boy, Elijah Straw, was killed when the car in which he was riding was struck from behind by a pickup truck after the car became disabled on a highway on May 1, 2012, according to a Dec. 29 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

The Pontiac Vibe automobile was being driven by the boy’s father, Thomas Straw, when its hood latch malfunctioned, allowing the hood to fly up and block the driver’s view of the road ahead, the story reported. Thomas Straw stopped the car in the center lane of the highway to fix the hood and the vehicle was then struck from behind by a Ford F-250 pickup being driven by Kirk Fair, who was an employee of Golon Masonry Restoration Inc., the story stated. There were open lanes on either side of the disabled car, according to the report.

Elijah Straw was in a car seat and was killed by the impact. His parents and young brother were seriously hurt in the crash.

“Memos from both sides said Fair was fumbling with folders that had fallen to the floor and had taken his eyes off the road” when the crash occurred, the story reported.

Thomas and Jennifer Straw each suffered a range of injuries, including concussions, lumbar spine fractures, bruises, lacerations and abrasions, while their other son, Rowan, experienced seizures after the crash, the story reported. The parents also suffered from mental health issues following the crash that killed their child.

Fair, the driver of the pickup truck that struck the family’s car, later pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle, three counts of aggravated assault by vehicle and four counts of recklessly endangering another person, the story reported. Fair is serving six to 23 months in prison and faces 10 years of probation following his incarceration.

After hearing six days of testimony in the case in December 2015 the jury reached its verdict in two hours, the story reported. The family was awarded $10 million for a wrongful death claim and $10 million for a survival claim, $3 million for each parent and $6 million for the deceased child’s brother.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes and a wide range of other incidents through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in such an incident 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.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.