$13M Settlement in DUI Crash that Killed 2, Severely Injured 2

As Dennis and Judy Schulte walked across a Seattle, Wash., street in March 2013 with their daughter-in-law and their then 10-day-old grandson, the four family members were struck by a vehicle being driven by a repeat drunk driver, killing the Schultes and critically injuring their grandson and his mother.

Five years later, the family has reached a $13 million settlement with the city of Seattle and the city’s insurance carriers in the case, according to a May 22 story by KCPQ/Q13 Fox television in Seattle-Tacoma.

The crash happened on March 25, 2013, when a vehicle being driven by Mark Mullan, who had previous DUI convictions struck the family as they were walking across the street at Northeast 75th and 33rd avenues in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood, the story reported.

Dennis Schulte, 66, and his wife, Judy Schulte, 68, were killed by the impact, while their daughter-in-law, Karina Schulte, and her infant son, Elias, were critically injured, according to a June 27 report by Fox 59 WXIN-TV of Indianapolis, Ind. The grandparents, who were originally from the Indianapolis area, had moved to Seattle to be near their son, Dan Schulte, and his wife and new baby.

The driver of the vehicle that struck the family had a .22 percent blood-alcohol content, which was nearly three times the legal limit. The driver had been on probation and his license was suspended, but he was still driving. His truck did not have an alcohol-sensor ignition interlock device, which was supposed to have been installed, the story reported.

fatal crash

Photo credit: iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

Dan Schulte’s family filed a $45 million wrongful death lawsuit in the case against the city of Seattle, “claiming officials were negligent in keeping track of Mullan, who had five previous drunk driving arrests,” the story stated. “The family contended that, had Mullan been properly supervised, he would not have been behind the wheel on the day of the crash.”

Karina Schulte and her son were left with permanent and disabling injuries from the impact, with Elias Schulte requiring 24/7 medical care for the rest of his life, the story reported.

The city of Seattle agreed to pay $6.5 million to the family in the case, with the other $6.5 million coming from the city’s insurance carriers.

Following the deaths of his parents and the severe injuries to his wife and son, Dan Schulte campaigned for tougher DUI laws in Washington state, which resulted in Gov. Jay Inslee eventually signing a bill that made an individual’s fourth DUI offense a felony, according to KCPQ.

Legal cases like this one occur around the nation every day and are examples of similar kinds of cases that MyPhillyLawyer attorneys regularly work on tirelessly for our own clients. Often, we are not able to discuss the cases we are actively working on due to confidentiality requirements, so we discuss other relevant cases in the news such as this one to illustrate the legal situations people find themselves in every day.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in any kind of vehicle incident anywhere in the United States. We pledge to make sure that you and your family get the compassionate, dogged and experienced legal representation that you deserve and expect from a professional legal team which works hard to uncover every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

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 215-789-9346 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.

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