Family Agree to Settlement of Compensation for a Passenger in a Fatal Auto Accident
The family of a man who died from a massive head trauma in a crash has agreed to a settlement of compensation for a passenger in a fatal auto accident.
On 19th October 2010, Justin Gatzke (29) was the front seat passenger in a Honda Accord driven by his girlfriend – Jennifer Bujnowski – when their car rear-ended a tractor-trailer rig improperly stopped on the service road to Route 23 in Wayne, New Jersey.
Despite wearing a seatbelt, Justin suffered a massive head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Bujnowski (20) was found to be high on PCP and was sentenced to three years for vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated.
On behalf of Justin´s estate, his mother – Donna Galella – claimed compensation for a passenger in a fatal auto accident against Bujnowski, the driver of the rig Anthony Parravai, the company he worked for and the company from whom the rig had been rented.
Donna blamed the three defendants associated with the rig for her son´s death, as the rig had stopped illegally on the side of the road without placing a warning sign ahead of the vehicle or activating its hazard warning lights.
The three defendants denied their liability and argued it was Bujnowski´s impaired condition that was the primary cause of the accident. Unable to initially agree a settlement, a court date was scheduled. But, three days before the hearing was due to be heard at the Essex County Superior Court, a settlement of compensation for a passenger in a fatal auto accident was negotiated.
According to the terms of the settlement, Justin´s estate will receive $600,000 compensation for a passenger in a fatal auto accident – $500,000 of which will be paid by Bujnowski´s insurers. $97,500 compensation for a passenger in a fatal auto accident will be paid for by Anthony Parravai´s employer and the remaining $2,500 will come from an umbrella insurance policy taken out by Bujnowski´s mother.