This is a very unfortunate case of Wrongful Death in which a man, Danny Daniel, of Georgia, who was released from jail on September 16, 2009 where he spent three (3) days after being arrested for Driving While Under the Influence (DUI), and was walking home from jail when he was hit and killed by two (2) vehicles on the highway.
Daniel’s widow brought a Wrongful Death Action against three (3) Defendants, the one who was driving the car that hit Daniel initially, Kelly Gitaitis, and the other two (2) Defendants who were, the garbage disposal company, Republic Services of Georgia, that owned the Mack truck, and the driver of said truck, Bobby Redmon, who hit Daniel subsequent to Daniel being hit by Gitaitis. The case is Daniel v. Republic Services, No. 11C-06439-6.
This case illustrates three (3) very important doctrines under Georgia Law that are:
1.) Wrongful Death and how damages are figured in a Wrongful Death Action in Georgia that I have discussed in my previous blog about Wrongful Death;
2.) The Comparative Negligence Law in Georgia that I have also discussed in my previous blog about the Comparative Negligence Law in Georgia; and
3.) Staking of Insurance Coverage that is discussed in my website under Auto Accidents.
This case further illustrates the importance of Pedestrian Safety .
The attorney for the Plaintiff did a fine job of reminding the Jury that although the out-of-work plumber, Daniels, had no paycheck in the last two (2) years of his life and he was bipolar, that his life still had value. The case reminds us that wrongful death cases can easily get distracted by the economic value of a person’s life, and, therefore, the finder of fact, in this case the Jury, will lose focus on the fact that Georgia Law recognizes that a person’s life has value in a Wrongful Death Case for the things in life that the person has lost by not living and enjoying those things in life that we enjoy, regardless of how much money we make or what our future earning potential is at the time of our death.
This case also illustrates the Comparative Negligence Law in Georgia since although the Gwinnett County Jury awarded over $1M to Daniel’s widow, the Jury apportioned 35% of the fault on Daniel which reduced his damage award. The Jury placed 23% of the fault on the driver of the car, Gitaitis, a personal trainer on her way to an appointment at 4:35 a.m., that hit Daniel first and he bounced off her windshield after she hit him.
Then, the Jury placed a majority of the fault at 42% on the garbage disposal company who owned the Mack truck, Republic, and the driver of the garbage truck, Redmon, who was following Gitatis and saw something fly off the roof of the Blazer Gitaitis was driving, thinking it was a deer, and ultimately hit Daniel. The medical examiner stated that he was never able to determine which blow was fatal since the remains were splattered on the highway and on the wheels of the truck.
I will continue my analysis of this case in my next blog post titled,Man Walking home from Jail is Hit and Killed in Georgia and Widow Receives over a $1M Verdict in a Wrongful Death Action ~ part 2.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are experts in Auto Accidents, Trucking Accidents, Pedestrian Safety, Wrongful Death actions, and we understand the Laws of Staking Insurance in Georgia so that you receive all of the just compensation that you deserve in any accident, so please Contact Us if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in any type of accident. You may Contact Us by any or all of the following means by phone at 770-865-8654, and (813) 363-6664, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on this blog site, and/or on our website.
We are here to protect you and make sure that you receive all of the just compensation that you deserve in any of these types of unfortunate situation as you need a strong advocate by your side, and we are here to do the job!