Friday, May 29, 2009

Lawsuit Filed in Teen Car Crash Death

The family of 14 year old boy Phoenix Nguyen sued the city of Huntington Beach approximately one year after the March 2008 car crash that killed him.  Nguyen was the passenger of a 1995 Acura when the driver, traveling at 75 to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone, ran a stop sign.  The family apparently claims that the stop sign at the intersection in which he was killed was not clearly visible, thereby creating a “dangerous condition of public property,” and that this condition resulted in a “reasonably foreseeable risk of injury.”

The city has stated it believes that “the road was properly marked and signed,” and that the accident was a result of excessive speed.”  However, approximately two weeks later, another drive of a yellow Ford Mustang ran the same intersection, crashing into a Toyota Camry.  Stephen Solomon, partner with the Playa Del Rey, California law firm Solomon, Saltsman & Jamieson and co-host of the weekly televised talk show Legal Help Live says when a family makes a claim for wrongful death of a minor child the law allows compensation for loss of love, comfort and society but not emotional distress.  While it is difficult to discern between these two categories of damages it is an important difference.  Moreover, the economic value to compensate for the death of a minor presents unique challenges.  Victims should always evaluate the experience of prospective counsel when deciding to retain a lawyer in this area of the law.


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