The plaintiff was a 71-year-old female who attended a funeral. After the funeral, employees of the funeral home directed the funeral procession to cross through a very busy intersection that was governed by traffic lights on Route 1 in Spotsylvania.
There was no law enforcement assistance on the scene (though the funeral home contended that law enforcement assistance had been requested), so employees of the funeral home stood in the middle of highway traffic on Route 1 and tried to get traffic to stop even though Route 1 traffic would, at times, be proceeding on a green light.
The employees allegedly carried small “STOP” signs but wore no reflective gear. A driver traveling southbound on Route 1 went through the intersection and broadsided the plaintiff, who had been directed by funeral home employees to proceed through a red light and into highway traffic.
The plaintiff sued for both compensatory and punitive damages. The funeral home alleged that the plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence, which if successful would have barred the plaintiff from any recovery.
The plaintiff’s medical bills were about $194,000. Her injuries included a severely fractured pelvis, sternum and femur, in addition to open wounds of both legs.
The case settled just after the court ruled against the defendant’s motion to throw the case out before trial.
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