Auto Collision, Wrongful Death 1-1/2 years after collision while jogging

A widow and children sued for the wrongful death of a husband and father. Decedent, age 39, struck a 15-ton paver moving in an open lane in a construction zone. The collision occurred at night; the paver had no lights. The steering wheel bent from the impact with decedent’s chest and an imprint of the shoulder strap was fixed across decedent’s chest. An ER physician ruled out cardiac contusion. Decedent experienced chest pain when he attempted to resume vigorous exercise within a few months after the collision. Angiography revealed an 85% blockage of his left front coronary artery. Decedent died unexpectedly due to the blockage while jogging 1-1/2 years after the collision. A treating cardiologist asserted that the blockage was due to blunt chest trauma, since decedent had been a healthy non-smoking jogger without symptoms before the collision. A defense consultant asserted that the blockage was the result of atherosclerosis and not the collision. One week before trial, the parties agreed to a confidential structured settlement. Laporte Circuit Court, Cause No. 46C01-8903-CT-056.

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