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Lawsuit filed against fire department, driver in fatal crash

A widow along with her former husband's mother filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County and a fire truck driver on Nov 20. The driver allegedly caused the traffic accident on July 31 that killed the woman's husband.

The woman and her husband were traveling on Mulholland Highway to a wedding rehearsal dinner at around 5 p.m. when they were hit by the Los Angeles County fire truck while making a left turn. At the time, the fire truck was carrying 13 women inmates from Fire Camp 13 in Malibu. According to the lawsuit, the driver was passing unsafely and speeding when the accident happened.

The lawsuit also states that the woman suffered emotional distress due to witnessing her husband's death. While it does not specify how much the women are seeking in damages, the suit makes allegations of both negligence and wrongful death. The Los Angeles Fire Department issued a statement of condolence to the family but has yet to respond to the allegations in the lawsuit.

Individuals who were injured or whose loved ones were killed in a motor vehicle accident might consider filing a civil lawsuit. There may be significant medical expenses to pay, and insurance payments may be insufficient. As this case demonstrates, if the driver who is responsible is working at the time the accident occurs, the driver's employer may also be held responsible. A civil court will examine whether negligence occurred. For example, driving while sleepy or driving while distracted might be considered negligent behavior. The responsible parties might also offer a settlement out of court.

Source: San Clemente Patch, "San Clemente newlywed sues over fire truck crash that killed husband," Paige Austin, Nov. 23, 2015

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