4 Million Dollar Wrongful Death Settlement

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman recently resolved a tragic wrongful death case for an amount in excess of $4 million. The case involved the negligent repair of a vehicle which caused a head-on collision, killing three people.

Initially, the case appeared to be nothing more than a heartbreaking car crash, with one vehicle crossing over the center-line and striking the other vehicle in its lane, killing three of its four occupants. However, the case proved to be much more involved than was initially thought, providing yet another example of why lawyers should never simply accept the “official version” of what happened in an accident.

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Attorney Eric Hageman 612-338-0202.

“At the time the case came to our office, the only thing we knew was that the police reconstruction report blamed low tire-pressure for the vehicle crossing the center line,” said attorney Eric Hageman. “We found it hard to believe that alone could have caused the crash, so we decided to hire an expert to dig a little deeper.”

Working hand in hand with the expert mechanical engineer they had retained to look at the vehicle, Fred and Eric learned that, in fact, it wasn’t low tire pressure which caused the crash. Instead, they found that a broken tie-rod (which the police investigation assumed occurred after the crash) is what caused the vehicle to lose control and cross the center line. The tie rod works as part of the overall steering assembly in a car, transferring turning instructions from the car’s steering system to the wheels.

Standing alone, however a broken tie-rod is not all that unusual and there was still no other evidence to support a conclusion that there could be another at-fault party. But that conclusion changed when it was determined that the tie-rod failed because, contrary to vehicle maintenance protocol, it had not been greased, according to our expert, in “tens of thousands of miles.”

Armed with this information, Fred and Eric went to work proving the case. After obtaining repair records and subpoenaing a repair technician, they learned that the vehicle’s owner had taken it in for a “multi-point inspection and oil change” only four months before the accident. As part of the multi-point inspection, the facility acknowledged it would have inspected and greased the tie rod ends on the vehicle. Yet somehow they were never greased. But that wasn’t all Fred and Eric learned. Pursuant to additional subpoenas, they also found out that, several months before the multi-point inspection, a different facility had performed a ball joint repair on the vehicle and, in the process, would have removed and reinstalled the tie-rod as part of that work. Despite the fact that both facilities had knowledge of the defective condition of the tie-rod, neither of them took any action, which could have prevented the accident. Neither facility greased the worn and dried-out tie-rod end and neither facility advised the vehicle owner of the imminent danger posed by the condition of the tie-rod.

As a result, an ordinary (albeit tragic) car crash case became a “negligent repair” case with a whole new set of legal issues and challenges. Ultimately, twenty-four different expert witnesses were involved in the case, and a blizzard of motions were filed by defendants who fought vigorously to avoid liability. But after two and half years of fighting this legal battle on behalf of their client, Fred and Eric were finally able to achieve a settlement which will provide lifetime financial security for their client.

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman represent families in wrongful death lawsuits throughout the United States. You can contact them for a free consultation.

Pritzker Hageman Law Firm

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Category: Accidents
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