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BB&T Insurance wrongful death trial leads to mistrial

Houston residents may be interested to know that a mistrial has been declared in a large wrongful death trial. Jurors were deadlocked at 7-5, and could not reach a verdict. A woman filed a wrongful death suit against BB&T Insurance Services and her ex-husband, who was an executive at BB&T. The case revolved around a car accident that killed their 16-year-old daughter in 2011.

The suit alleged that the ex-husband was on his cellphone discussing business when he ran into the back of a tractor-trailer on the highway. The man's attorneys say that the man was not on the phone at the time of the crash. The truck driver testified that the crash occurred as he merged into the left lane of the highway when coming up on a construction zone. He did not see the man's vehicle in his mirror.

BB&T allegedly cleared the man's phone a few days after the accident. BB&T's lawyers say that this is the standard protocol for employees who no longer work at the company.

After deliberating for several hours over two days, the jury declared that they were deadlocked and that they did not see it ending any time soon. The judge had no choice but to call a mistrial. The woman's attorneys have not made any comments regarding a retrial.

If a driver causes the death of another person by driving negligently or recklessly, he may have to pay damages to the family of the deceased. It is more difficult for families to recover when the deceased is a child because it is unlikely that the family was depending on the child financially. However, the amount of damages will depend on the earning capacity of the deceased as well as age, health, life expectancy, and other circumstances.

Source: Winston-Salem Journal, "Mistrial declared in BB&T wrongful death civil trial," Robert C. Lopez, April 2, 2013.

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Brian Jensen

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