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Child sues dead dad over car crash

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Flash, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Flash

    Flash Guest

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around this one ...


    The guardians of a little girl whose parents and sister were killed in a motor vehicle accident near Salmon Arm, B.C., are suing the estate of her deceased dad, the B.C. Highways Department and its maintenance contractor for more than $2.3 million in damages.

    Katherine Elyse Davidson was 23 months old when she suffered critical injuries in the January 2005 crash that claimed the lives of her father, Maple Ridge Presbyterian minister Kristian Davidson, 35, her 34-year-old mother Sheryl and nine-year-old sister Lauren.

    Their minivan, driven by the dad, was westbound on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Salmon Arm when it collided with a van.

    Katherine, now four years old, was rushed to hospital but suffered critical injuries and ongoing related conditions and complications, says a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

    "The infant plaintiff will likely be unable to marry, lead a normal life or earn a livelihood and may be totally dependent upon others for her subsistence, care and maintenance during the remainder of her life," says the statement.

    The lawsuit claims that the dad was negligent by failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to keep the minivan under control, failing to apply the brakes in time or at all, and driving at an "excessive and dangerous" rate of speed.

    It also alleges he operated the vehicle on the snow-covered roads when his vision was obscured by frost or condensation and was operating the vehicle while his ability to do so was possibly impaired by alcohol, drugs and fatigue.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Someone's trying to be sure the estate goes to the kid and not the church -- after they get their cut.
  3. Is the child not already the beneficiary of the father's estate?

    Sounds like the guardian is looking for some more cash for himself/herself ... but I guess I should read the story first ...

    Yep, Slappy's theory makes sense.
  4. Flash

    Flash Guest

    That was my immediate thought, too.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    This poor little girl. Lost her family, severely injured and now gets to be associated with this, whatever the reason or the outcome.

    But something bothered me about the wording of the lawsuit: The first thing listed, even before "unable to lead a normal life" or "totally dependent upon others for her subsistence" was "unable to marry." The girl is five, and the first thing they're worried about, above her catastrophic injuries, is her ability to get married. It's like she's property herself.
  6. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    The child may not already be a beneficiary of the estate. She was pretty young at the time of the crash and its entirely possible pop's will had not been updated.

    Or she may be one of many beneficiaries and if the accident did cause life-long medical problems, her share won't be sufficient to take care of her problems.

    It's unfair to assume that a guardian is trying to get rich.

    And suing a dead person's estate is very common. Especially in auto accidents. As a former court reporter, I saw those kinds of lawsuits filed on probably a weekly basis.
  7. The question is did the father actually have $1.5 million in his estate?
  8. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    That's impossible to know from the story. It seems unlikely for a Presbyterian minister to have that large of an estate, but it's certainly possible, especially if he had a life insurance policy. But there are two other defendants -- the highway department and its maintenance contractor.

    And why is that your question now? Before you wrote that it sounded like the guardian was trying to get money for himself or herself.
  9. Your first post was informative. Now you're just being an ass.

    Read my first post very carefully.

    And now that I have read the story, it still reeks of greed. It's a shotgun lawsuit - I mean, is it the dad's fault or the highway department's fault?

    I've also covered lots of courts, and while suing a deceased parent is new to me, filing suit against anyone within two miles of the courtroom is frequently indicative of one thing: Money grab.

    Doesn't mean it is in this case, but if the dad was saucing it up before driving on a snowy highwayas the lawsuit suggests - that's not the highway department's fault.
  10. franticscribe

    franticscribe Well-Known Member

    Reeks of greed, huh? I didn't read anything in that article that provided insight into the child's medical condition. It's entirely within the realm of possibility that a fatal accident which kills three people would leave a child with such physical trauma that $1.5 million is not enough to cover her care for the rest of her lifetime.

    It could be a money-grab, but there's no where near enough information given in that report to make a logical conclusion of that sort.

    Anyway, you brought up the question of 'fault.' Well it's entirely possible in the eyes of the law, that it is the dad's 'fault', the highway department's 'fault', and the contractor's 'fault' all at once. It's called a "concurrent cause," and it occurs when the negligent acts of multiple parties combine to create a single injury. Different state's have different mechanisms for deciding how to apportion the blame -- and I'm not going to look up B.C. law for you.

    The theory works like this: The Reverend was negligent for driving too fast for conditions. The maintenance contractor was negligent for failing to clear the snow off the road in a reasonable amount of time. The highway department was negligent for failing to ensure that the company it hired to clear the snow off the road had done its job. If the acts (or lack of action) of all three, combined to hurt the child, she has an opportunity to recover.

    And while suing a dead parent is certainly unusual, suing a deceased driver whose negligence brought about injury (as well as their own death) is not.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Am saving that for posterity. Doesn't happen often.
  12. In other words, we really don't know at this point. That's all I was saying to begin with.
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