$10.5 Million Settlement for Wrongful Death Case
- Date: Spring 1997
- Attorney: John Blume
- Settlement: $10.5 Million
- Practice Areas: Premises Liability, Motor Vehicle Accident, Wrongful Death, Auto Product Liability
Blume Goldfaden principal John Blume obtained a precedent-setting settlement of $10.5 million on behalf of the estate of a couple whose automobile plunged into the freezing waters of a river five years ago.
The New Jersey Law Journal wrote that this case “may be the largest settlement of a New Jersey wrongful death case .” In 1992, the victims, a dentist and his wife, were driving through a small town on the New Jersey Shore on their way to dinner at a local restaurant. The streets were poorly marked and the couple inadvertently drove off an unmarked and unguarded boat launching ramp at the end of a street. Witnesses on the shore could hear the couple trying to escape from their sinking car, but the doors and windows could not be opened.
Although divers did finally free the couple from the car, the dentist died of hypothermia and his wife, who after five years remains hospitalized, suffered severe and permanent injuries.
Mr. Blume was retained by the dentist’s brother on behalf of the estate which includes the couple’s two minor sons, who are now 14 & 10 years old.
The judge’s order finalizing the $10,562,500 million settlement was entered in late January. The township where the auto accident occurred and the engineers who were responsible for signs in the township settled for a combined total of $5.19 million; the automobile manufacturer settled for $3 million; the couple’s automobile insurance company paid $2.3 million, and the restaurant paid $300,000.
Because of a confidentiality agreement and court order, the identity of the parties may not be revealed.