On November 7th, a jury sitting in Bristol County Superior Court in New Bedford awarded the widow of former Easton resident George E. Power, Jr. $1,150,000 in damages under the Wrongful Death Act.
On Labor Day morning, September 2, 2013, Power was tragically killed when he was struck by a car as he was walking his dog on the sidewalk of a quiet residential street in Easton. At the time of the crash, he was 71-years old, and retired after owning and operating a small business in nearby Stoughton for over 20 years. Mr. Power left behind his wife of 33 years and their two adult children. He had lived in Easton for many years prior to his death.
The Power family brought wrongful death claims against the operator of the vehicle, a 17-year-old driver, whose vehicle struck and killed Mr. Power. They also brought claims against another 17- year-old driver of the vehicle just ahead of the striking vehicle, alleging that the two vehicles had been engaged in racing or horseplay, and that the crash occurred when the second vehicle lost control.
Attorneys Ben Zimmermann and Chris Fiorentino of Boston law firm Sugarman & Sugarman, P.C. represented Mr. Power’s family in this matter.
The various police departments who investigated the crash found the striking vehicle responsible for the collision, and issued charges accordingly. The driver of the “lead” vehicle, who had left the scene shortly after the crash with his passenger, was never implicated by the police.
At trial, the driver of the striking vehicle admitted fault for the crash, but both drivers denied that they were racing or engaged in horseplay. However, several witnesses testified that both vehicles were driving at dangerous speeds and appeared to be interacting with one another in the minutes leading up to the crash.
In addition to the damages awarded under the Wrongful Death Act, prejudgment interest increased the verdict to just over $1,500,000. The jury also found both drivers grossly negligent, but did not award punitive damages, as the family through their lawyer told the jury that, while they should find the conduct of the drivers’ worthy of punishment, Mr. Power would not have wanted further punishment exacted upon them.
“In the face of their tragic and needless loss, we are pleased that the jury, after seeing the evidence, was able to bring justice and some sense of closure to the Power family,” Attorney Zimmermann remarked. “This case was never about retribution, it was about bringing the facts and evidence in front of a jury and leaving it to them to determine the truth about what happened that day, and provide some reparation for the loss suffered by the Power family.”