Examples of Wrongful Death Cases Handled by The Rodgers Law Firm That Have Resulted in Favorable Recoveries for Ben’s Clients

Infant Drowned In Babysitter’s Swimming Pool – Pool Owner Ignored Safety Recommendations Made By Pool Installer

Fort Worth, Texas

While the parents were on a trip, their 15-month-old infant son drowned in their baby sitter’s swimming pool. The sitter had kept the child on a regular basis before the drowning.

Documents obtained after suit was filed showed the pool owner did not follow the written safety recommendations provided by the swimming pool installer and signed for by the pool owner acknowledging the receipt of the written safety recommendations.

The pool owner did not child-proof the pool by buying relatively inexpensive safety devices such as a child-proof door lock on the kitchen door that opened into the swimming pool area or a pool alarm that would be triggered when any object weighing more than 10 pounds fell into the pool.

Teenage Passenger Ejected and Killed – Single Vehicle Rollover Accident

Houston, Texas

Four teenagers and young adults were joyriding and drinking beer on a weekend trip to the gulf coast. Our clients’ son, a passenger, was killed after being ejected when the car rolled due to excessive speed in a construction zone.

The driver at fault had no assets. The recovery on the case turned on a careful analysis of available auto insurance coverage under the “blood, marriage, or adoption” rule in the Texas Standard Automobile Policy.

Under this rule, if someone, person “A,” does not own a policy of auto insurance but person “A” lives with someone, person “B,” that does own a policy of auto insurance and person “A” is related to person “B” by blood, marriage or adoption, then person “A” is deemed under Texas law to have the same auto insurance coverage as person “B.”

This means that a son or daughter living with a parent, a granddaughter or grandson living with a grandparent, a niece or nephew living with an aunt or uncle, etc. have the same auto insurance as the person they are living with.

The victim’s mother and father were divorced. The son alternated living with each of his parents and did not own a car. Each parent had Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (“UIM”) on their auto insurance policies. The son’s friend, “X,” was driving the car and his friend, “Y,” owned the car.

The gross recovery on the case included all available policy limits from:

  1. car owner Y’s auto liability policy.
  2. car driver X’s auto liability policy.
  3. victim’s mother’s UIM auto policy, because the son was a regular resident of her home and was related to her by blood.
  4. victim’s father’s UIM auto policy, because the son was a regular resident of his father’s home and was related to him by blood.

Infant Passenger Killed In Auto Collision

Corpus Christi, Texas

Our client’s infant daughter was killed while traveling as a passenger in a car driven by our client’s ex-husband.

The infant was riding beside her father and was not being held securely in an infant seat. The driver also died in the accident, as did 3 occupants of the other vehicle.

Auto Collision Causes Premature Birth and Subsequent Death of Infant

Fort Worth, Texas

The client was 20 weeks pregnant at the time of the motor vehicle accident and the pregnancy was proceeding normally, according to her gynecologist’s records.

The collision caused immediate uterine bleeding at the scene. The client was taken to the hospital and admitted for 2 days, dismissed, then readmitted for 4 days for a recurrence of the bleeding, dismissed, then readmitted a week later with the diagnosis of “preterm labor” that required her to stay in the hospital until the child’s development was far enough along to allow delivery by c-section.

Expert medical opinions were that the collision caused the premature birth of the infant 28 days after the accident, that the infant’s development was premature by 14 weeks, and that there was visible bruising on the infant’s back, hands, and feet consistent with bruising caused by a seat-belt restraint system in the accident and not consistent with c-section forceps-delivery forces. The baby died 12 weeks later without ever leaving the hospital.

The official cause of death was determined to be chronic pulmonary insufficiency arising from long-term artificial pulmonary ventilation due to premature birth.

The Standard Texas Automobile Policy in effect at the time of the accident provided that a person was a “covered person” at the time of the motor vehicle accident if the person was a “family member (injured) … while occupying … a motor vehicle.”

On these facts the insurance company for the driver at fault was persuaded to pay policy limits even though the child was not born at the time of the accident and even though, under Texas law at the time, the unborn child would not have been a covered person had the child been killed in the accident while still in his mother’s womb.

Bus Passenger Killed In Commercial Bus Accident

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Our client’s mother was traveling from Texas to Missouri via Arkansas on a nationally-known passenger bus after a two week visit with her daughter in Alvarado, Texas.

At one point in the pre-dawn portion of the trip near Jonesboro, Arkansas, the bus driver was approaching a T-intersection controlled by a stop sign. The road layout required that, after stopping, he turn the bus right or left. If he continued forward past the stop sign, he would leave the roadway, hit a bar ditch, and come to rest in a corn field.

Apparently under the influence of “road hypnosis,” the bus driver did not respond to the stop sign and drove into the field, wrecking the bus. The client’s mother was ejected from the bus and killed. Road hypnosis occurs when someone who is driving slips into a kind of trance state because of the constant movement of the car and the monotony of the road going by.

You may have noticed that sometimes you may become drowsy while driving or you may not remember driving the most recent mile or so on your trip, or you may even miss your regular exit on the freeway while commuting to or from work.

Suit was filed in Dallas County, the headquarters of the defendant bus owner.

Mother of Two Young Sons Killed in Collision with 18-Wheeler Truck

Blytheville, Arkansas

The mother of two young sons was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer truck in Blytheville, Arkansas.

We were hired by the boys’ father, a resident of Hurst, Texas, to represent him and his two sons.

Because the lawsuit had to be filed in Arkansas, the state where the accident happened and the defendants resided, with the prior approval of the father we selected a very competent attorney in Arkansas to handle the case in that jurisdiction.