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ARTICLE ID 160179

$________ Motor vehicle negligence - Rear end collision - Death of 28-year-old single mother passenger in car of intoxicated driver with $________ policy - Plaintiff also proceeds against UM carrier for actions of phantom vehicle.

Monmouth County, NJ

This death action occurred when the host driver and non- host driver were proceeding in the same direction on a portion of the GSP containing five undivided lanes. The plaintiff maintained that the host driver, who had a BAC of .10% and who pled guilty to DWI, negligently failed to make proper observations before changing from the second lane from the left to the middle lane and that the defendant non-host driver negligently reacted to a speeding phantom driver who was approaching from behind, moving to the lane to the left of him without making proper observations, resulting in the collision occurring in the middle lane. The defendant non-host driver denied that this description of the accident was accurate and contended that the inebriated host driver struck him in the rear in the lane to the right of the center lane. This party’s accident reconstruction expert supported this position.

The plaintiff countered that the plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert, the host’s accident reconstruction expert, and the accident reconstruction from the State Police, who investigated the fatal accident, had found that the accident occurred in the center lane, citing the debris, marks in the road and the nature of damage to the respective vehicles. The decedent had $________ in UM protection and the plaintiff also made a claim against the UM carrier, contending that the phantom vehicle’s approach from behind at a high rate of speed contributed to the accident.

There was no evidence of conscious pain and suffering. The decedent left two young children and was working as a health care aide. The plaintiff’s economist projected $________ in economic loss, including lost income, loss of household services, advice and guidance.

The case settled prior trial for $________, which represented the full amount available from the policies. A second passenger in the host vehicle was also a plaintiff who suffered a rotator cuff tear. This aspect settled for $________.

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