AutoZone Paying $3.3M Settlement for 3 Crash Deaths in 2016
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on August 10th, 2018
The families of three people killed in a 2016 vehicle crash in New York State will receive a $3.3 million settlement from AutoZone after one of the company’s tractor-trailers smashed into the rear of a car that had run out of gas in the right lane of a highway.
The driver of the disabled car, Jesenia Valentin, 29, of Bridgeport, Conn., had called 911 to report her vehicle being disabled on Interstate 84 when it was struck from behind by the truck after the driver didn’t realize her car was not moving, according to a July 19 story by The Connecticut Post.
The crash, which was heard over the phone as it happened by the 911 operator, killed Valentin, her 9-year-old daughter, Angelina Rodriques, and her 12-year-old niece, Asyria Ferrer, who were passengers in Valentin’s 2006 Volkswagen Passat, the story reported. Two dogs in the vehicle were also killed. The crash occurred at about 3:30 a.m. on June 1, 2016, on Interstate 84 in Wawayanda, N.Y.
The four-way flashers of Valentin’s car were turned on and operating while she was on the phone with the 911 operator, trying to figure out how to get help. The crash happened just minutes after she connected with the 911 operator, the story reported.
The driver of the AutoZone truck, 52-year-old Gino Ruggerio of Sugar Loaf, Pa., told police after the crash that he couldn’t avoid hitting the car after realizing it wasn’t moving, the story reported. The trucker, who told police he had been checking his gauges and mirrors just before the crash, was not charged in the incident.
The lawsuit, which was filed by relatives of the victims, alleged that AutoZone was “negligent in failing to properly train its driver, who was operating at a rate of speed greater than was reasonable for highway conditions, resulting in the deaths of Valentin, her daughter and niece.”
AutoZone paid the plaintiffs $3,332,184 to settle the lawsuit, according to probate records.
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.
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