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PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY: GJEL Accident Attorneys, Orinda, by Luke Ellis and Ralph L. Jacobson

HEAD-ON COLLISION — CHRISTMAS PARTY DEATH
Plaintiffs in this case were the wife and three adult children of decedent, a man in his 50s. Decedent was killed when his auto collided head-on with an auto driven by defendant employee, who had just left a Christmas party held by defendant employer at a local bar open to the public. Both decedent and a defendant employee had blood alcohol levels in excess of legal limits. Plaintiffs contended that defendant employee caused the subject accident; that he was acting in the course and scope of his employment at the time; and that defendant employer was liable for compensatory and punitive damages for the actions of its employee. Defendant employer contended that the party was purely a social function of no benefit to the employer; that the employee was responsible for his own actions; that decedent himself was drunk and was responsible for the accident; and that he died instantly, so that punitive damages were inapplicable.

RESULT: The case settled before trial for $1,100,000, including $1 million policy limits from the employer and $100,000 from the employee.

Andy Gillin received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from the University of Chicago. He is the managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys and has written and lectured in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury law for numerous organizations. Andy is a highly recognized wrongful death lawyer in California.