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Palm Beach Jury Awards $6.1 Million Wrongful Death Verdict to Family of Florida Woman Killed by Flying Road Debris

More than four years after Claudia Avila was struck in the head by a 34-pound metal plate that flew into the windshield of a car she was a passenger in, a Palm Beach County jury has awarded her family a $6.1 wrongful death judgment. The 43-year-old Pompano mother was on her way to meet her daughter for lunch on February 17, 2004, when the deadly accident happened in Delray Beach on I-95. Avila, who suffered serious head injuries and went into a coma, died after being taken off life support several weeks later. While the Florida Highway Patrol closed the case with no conclusive evidence as to the source of the metal plate, the Avila family continued to pursue the case. They eventually sued concrete block manufacturing company Tarmac America, trucking company EM Transfer, and scrap metal company IGM for her wrongful death. While IGM and EM Transfer settled the case out of court, the family went to court against Tarmac America. Avila’s family accused the concrete block manufacturing company of failing to properly secure the metal plates so they could be transported safely. As a result of the Tarmac America’s negligence, the family says that the metal plate fell off the truck, which resulted in Avila’s subsequent wrongful death. Out of the $6.1 million verdict, 28% of the liability was apportioned to Tarmac America. The damages included compensation for the plaintiff’s loss of parental support and pain and suffering. 72% of liability was allotted to EM Transfer, which leaves a $1.7 million judgment for Avila’s children. If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by another party’s negligence—even if the responsible party cannot initially be located—it is important that you explore your legal options for personal injury or wrongful death compensation. Related Web Resource: Traumatic Brain Injury, Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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