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ARTICLE ID 195351

$________ POLICY LIMIT Personal Negligence – Defendant driver opts to drive to horse farm during Hurricane Sandy, despite warnings of danger and declared State of Emergency – On way home, during severe weather, tree falls onto car and kills defendant and his wife while two minor children were in back seat – Children suffer physical injuries and PTSD.

Morris County, NJ

The plaintiff contended that the defendant ignored weather and road conditions, and negligently failed to heed warnings to stay off the roads during Hurricane Sandy. The evidence disclosed that in the morning, he drove from his home in Randolph Township to a horse riding center in Long Valley, New Jersey, approximately 18 miles away. His wife and two of their four children accompanied him. They remained in Long Valley most of the day, and into the early evening hours, during which time the weather conditions continued to deteriorate. At approximately 7:00 p.m., the defendant attempted to drive home, and encountered downed wires, fallen trees, and closed roads. While en route, a home a tree fell, striking the vehicle, killing the decedent and his wife, causing physical and psychological injuries to the children in the back seat. The plaintiff contended that the defendant was negligent in venturing out and subjecting the occupants to the hazards inherent from the weather.

The children, who were in the car, maintained that they sustained physical injuries. They advanced a Portee claim, contending that they suffered severe emotional distress from witnessing the death of their parents.

The four children also made a claim for pecuniary loss, as well as guidance and advice of their mother under Green vs. Bitner.The case settled prior to trial for the policy limits of $________. There was no excess coverage.

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