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Developer Held Liable In North Carolina Wrongful Death Case

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After four days of deliberation, a jury in Charlotte, NC awarded the families of those who died in a terrible April 2009 accident $6 million from a development firm. The unanimous judgment held Crescent Resources partially liable for the deadly accident that claimed three people’s lives, including a young Winthrop University professor and her two-year old daughter.

The jury found that the developer’s failure to install a traffic light at a N.C. 49 intersection played a role in the deadly crash. The plaintiffs were the parents of a 13-year-old boy who died in the crash and the husband of the professor who was killed. Each plaintiff was awarded $3 million from Crescent Resources.

The deadly accident happened when the Winthrop professor pulled her car onto N.C. 49 and was then rear-ended by a Mitsubishi Eclipse that had been street racing another car at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. The drivers of the two vehicles are now serving jail time for their street racing.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that Crescent was responsible because its failure to install the traffic light contributed to an unsafe road which was fertile ground for the deadly speed racing that happened that evening. Crescent had agreed to install the traffic signal in 2006 when the community gave the company approval to develop a subdivision in the area. However, the company dragged its feet, claiming that traffic was not bad enough to warrant the light. Two months after the deadly crash, the company put the light in.

We extend our sympathy to the family of those who died in the terrible accident. Losing a loved one is always hard, but especially so when the accident comes out of the blue. As this case demonstrates, though criminal charges are being pursued against the driver, it’s important to understand that a civil claim for compensation can still proceed regardless of what prosecutors decide to do. 

If you’re considering reaching out to an attorney, make sure it’s someone who has experience handling such difficult and emotionally trying cases. My firm handled one case where our client was killed by the driver of a tractor-trailer, leaving his wife and four children behind. In that case, we were able to secure a $2.4 million settlement for the family. Though the money does not help to heal the deep wounds left after the man’s death, it helps provide some much needed money to a family in need.  

If someone you love died due to the reckless or negligent behavior of another person, you’re likely confused about how to begin the process of holding the at-fault party accountable for his or her actions. Wrongful death actions can be confusing and are often unfamiliar to most people who, thankfully, have little experience with such lawsuits. For more information on the process, read through my firm’s guide on the wrongful death claims process in North Carolina.

If you recently lost a loved one in a tragic North Carolina accident and are not sure how to move forward, it might be helpful to check out my firm’s answers to some frequently asked questions regarding wrongful death claims. For instance, you may be wondering what a wrongful death claim ishow a court calculates damages or even what the difference is between a wrongful death claim and a normal personal injury action. For these answers and more, read my firm’s North Carolina wrongful death FAQs.

Here's a Google Map showing the location of the deadly accident:


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