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$6,000,000 Verdict for Good Samaritan Who Was Struck and Killed by a Careless Driver on the On-Ramp to the Parkway East
On a chilly March morning, Donald Gould, age 55, was on his way to work. A resident of Wilkins Township, Donald Gould had just entered the Forrest Hills/Wilkinsburg on ramp to the Parkway East. At a juncture where the on ramp bends and goes over the Parkway, Mr. Gould and the car in front of him, encountered an icy portion of the ramp causing their vehicles to slide and impact. However, because they were driving at a low speed, the impact was slight. Having parked his car on the berm of the ramp, Donald Gould went to check on the well-being of the driver of the other car who had also pulled off to the side.
Standing at the driver's side window, Mr. Gould's last words were "are you okay?" Moments later, a young man, traveling at a high speed, came barreling up and around the bend of the on ramp, hit the icy section of the overpass, and lost all control of his car. The car crashed into the car Mr. Gould was standing next to, violently sending that car into Donald Gould. The impact lifted and threw Mr. Gould through the air, causing him to land on the concrete ramp where he died.
Donald Gould was a married man and father of two. On behalf of his wife, Sally, and his two children, we filed a civil action against the driver of the vehicle. At the time of the events, the driver was operating a company vehicle, and his employer was also named as a defendant. While the careless actions of the defendant seemed obvious to us, the Defendants took the position that Mr. Gould's conduct was the cause of his death. Without a settlement offer, we were forced to begin the trial. After 5 days of trial, a jury found the Defendant negligent. Considering the damages of Mr. Gould's pain and suffering, his lost income, and that loss of him as a husband and father, the jury made an award of $6,000,000. The Defendants' insurance company paid the total amount of their insurance coverage, $2,000,000, to resolve the case.