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Lawsuit Involving Wrongful Death and a Stolen Car Settled


Businesses are often held responsible for what happens on their premises. A recent case in Fresno shows how far-reaching the occurrences on a business’ property can be. On July 17, 2013, a man was killed in an automobile accident. The car that struck the man’s vehicle was an Infiniti that was stolen from a used car dealership.

The widow of the man who was killed filed a lawsuit for wrongful death. That case recently ended in a settlement, which is one of the possible ways that any wrongful death lawsuit might be resolved.

The used car dealership and its affiliate agreed to pay the widow of the man who was killed in the deadly accident $950,000. Those defendants aren’t admitting any wrongdoing, and the widow had to drop the negligence claim against the defendants.

The basis of the wrongful death lawsuit was interesting. The plaintiff’s case claimed that the man who stole the Infiniti had actually stolen two vehicles from My Auto Maxx lots before he stole the Infiniti. One of those thefts was in April of 2013 and the other was in June of the same year.

On July 12, 2013, the man filled out a credit application and then stole the Infiniti’s keys. It wasn’t until four days later that a police report was filed. The plaintiff’s case noted that the dealership didn’t do anything to secure the Infiniti even though they knew the man had taken the keys to the vehicle.

In fact, the manager of the dealership had passed around a photo of the man telling employees to be on the lookout for the man who is accused of stealing vehicles. Still, no action was taken to stop him from taking the Infiniti using the keys he stole.

Source: The Fresno Bee, “Fresno car dealer to pay $950,000 after stolen Infiniti was in fatal crash,” Pablo Lopez, May 31, 2016