Robert L. Weinberg, a partner with the firm, recently settled a wrongful death and survival action against the driver of a vehicle which has failed to remain in its lane during late night travel and crossed onto the shoulder of Interstate 95 in Mongtomery County, striking the driver of a parked vehicle who was standing by his car. The decedent died at the scene from blunt force trauma. He was survived by a daughter and one parent. The defendant driver fled the scene of the accident on foot and was later apprehended using DNA evidence from the accident scene. The driver was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
The case was complicated by the fact that the shoulder where the accident occurred was designated as a “no parking” zone by the Maryland State Highway Adminstration. Although the vehicle was parked in that zone, the purpose of the “non parking” designation was to prevent trucks from parking on the shoulder, as it was adjacent to a truck stop where trucks were known to use the shoulder as overflow parking. The case was further complicated by the number of claimants and attorneys involved in the case, and disputes over the value of the various claims held by the surviving heirs.