Rita Marie Bruce, the widow of a semi truck driver, has agreed to settle her wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2011 in the name of her husband. The suit was filed against H&M International Transportation Inc., Brookwood Insurance Company (H&M’s insurance carrier), and Isaac Whitlock, an H&M driver. The agreement was filed on February 8th of this year between the widow and Brookwood Insurance Co. The settlement was for a total of $59,957 on behalf of her deceased husband, James L. Bruce.
Mississippi papers showed via court documents that Brookwood Insurance also included a confidential sum of money in addition to the settlement, as compensation for the injuries and death of James Bruce, as a manner of compromise settlement.
The lawsuit was filed against H&M and their driver, Isaac Whitlock, following the accident on July 21 in 2009. According to the lawsuit’s documents, Whitlock was driving slowly and without proper lighting on his vehicle. Her husband therefore didn’t see Whitlock’s vehicle in time, and rear-ended the larger vehicle with his semi. This caused an explosive accident, killing Bruce almost instantly on Highway 78, near the Myrtle exit in Mississippi’s Union County.
Many lawsuits do not always require a full trial, even wrongful death suits. Settlements are actually a fairly routine occurrence, and can be a valuable way of resolving the matter at hand, giving the plaintiffs money with which to pay court and legal costs, settle outstanding bills from funerary and other expenses, and in general have a way to start moving on with their lives.
Negligence is a frighteningly common cause of wrongful death incidents. People failing to signal when turning, or failing to observe basic maintenance on vehicles, or simply driving well past the point they should be, can all contribute to serious accidents such as that suffered by Mr. Bruce. The loss of a loved is difficult enough without having to think that it was caused by the negligent activities of another driver.