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Family of pedestrian accident victim wins wrongful death claim

According to the Washington Post, a Maryland child will receive over two million dollars in compensation from the State of Maryland after a Circuit Court jury in Prince George's County found in favor of her wrongful death lawsuit. The family of the young girl sued the state after the plaintiff's mother was struck by a passing car while walking down Pennsylvania Avenue.

The plaintiff was only two-years-old when the accident occurred in the summer of 2008. The collision killed her mother and another victim who died at the scene of the crash. A third victim also died that day, as the plaintiff's mother was five months pregnant when she died. According to the family's wrongful death lawsuit, all these tragedies could have been avoided if the state of Maryland had paid better attention to pedestrian safety.

At the time of the accident, the young girl's mother was walking along a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue which was unprotected by guard rails and lacked a sidewalk. Although there were sidewalks at the beginning and end of the street, there was also a 200 foot gap during which there was no protective barrier between pedestrians and the traffic on the road.

The plaintiff's mother and the other deceased victim were both navigating those dangerous 200 feet when they were hit by a swerving car.

The wrongful death lawsuit against the state emphasized the state government's responsibility to ensure that roadways are safe for everyone who uses them-both drivers and pedestrians. In this case, the jury agreed that the state failed in its responsibility to provide safe, usable sidewalks for Pennsylvania Avenue pedestrians.

Source: The Washington Post, "$3M jury award in Md. Pedestrian death." Ruben Castaneda, 11 March 2011.

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