Family of Auto Accident Victim Recovers $1.5 Million Settlement

Case name and number: Confidential
Principal injuries (in order of severity): Wrongful death
Tried or settled: Settled
Date concluded: October 24, 2013
Amount: $1.5 million
Mediator: Robert Beason (Durham)
Expert witnesses: Dr. Donald R. Jason (forensic pathologist) & Dr. Carson Bays (economist)
Attorneys for plaintiff: Robert Whitley, of Whitley Law Firm

Description: Attorney Robert Whitley, of Whitley Law Firm, represented the family of a 44-year-old man who was killed in an automobile accident. The victim had been driving his pickup truck along a rural two-lane road when a commercial van traveling in the opposite direction crossed over the center line and struck his vehicle head-on. When paramedics arrived on the scene, the man was unresponsive. He went into cardiac arrest shortly thereafter, and was pronounced dead just minutes later.

According to Dr. Donald Jason, one of the experts that was enlisted by the plaintiff, the victim had suffered from a phenomenon known as “air hunger.” This occurs when one suffers severe anxiety, panic and an involuntary urge to increase respiration. Jason believed that the victim endured “air hunger” in the time leading up to his death. Due to the facts of the case, the plaintiffs were able to recover a $1.5 million settlement. “We were pleased because the family was pleased,” explained Whitley.

The 44-year-old victim was survived by his wife, his 6-year-old son and his adult son. The settlement was reached on October 24, 2013, with Bob Beason and Ellis in Durham serving as the mediator. Whitley Law Firm has since been successful in collecting the settlement. According to Robert Whitley, “This was an important chapter to close for the family.”