Wrongful Death Lawsuit Results in $2.3 Million Verdict

In New Haven, the family of Jose Mauricio Campos, won a jury verdict of nearly $2.3 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against a hotel corporation and its employee, a driver of a van that struck Campos.

Campos, 52, was riding a bicycle on September 15, 2008 at about 6:45 p.m. when he was hit by the van, driven by Robert Edward Coleman.

Coleman, along with his employer, LaQuinta Inn and Suites were defendants in the civil suit. He and the corporation were found to be equally liable.

Campos, who was not wearing a helmet before he was struck by the van, was thrown to the pavement by the impact and suffered a severe head injury, where he died three days later after emergency surgery.

The jurors ruled that both Coleman and Campos were at fault in the accident, but that Coleman and LaQuinta were responsible for 58 percent of the negligence. Campos was charged with 42 percent of the negligence only because it is too hard to determine whether Campos obeyed the stop sign or not. Coleman reportedly did not have a stop sign.

Two witnesses stated that they saw Coleman driving at about 40 mph at the spot where the accident took place. The speed limit is a 25 mph zone. The lawsuit also alleged that Coleman was using a cell phone at the time of the accident, in violation of the Connecticut state law.

The jurors awarded the family of Campos $1,709,840 in damages to the victim’s estate and $580,000 in damages to the widow. The complaint noted that she had incurred medical and funeral expenses, loss of wages, and permanent loss of his earning capacity, along with her husband’s moral support and companionship.

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