Jury Awards $8.8 Million to Family of Florida Mother Killed by “Chronic Texter”

by Carmen Dellutri on January 9, 2012

Sarasota accident attorneyA jury has awarded $8.8 million to the family of a mother killed in a Florida car accident likely caused by texting. As Florida personal injury attorneys, we believe this case reinforces the NTSB’s call for a ban on cell phone use while driving.

The accident victim, Myriam del Socorro Lopez, was a passenger in a car driven by her husband when it was struck by a vehicle driven by Luis Cruz-Govin, who was 17 at the time. According to the lawsuit, Cruz-Govin Lopez died on the scene, while her husband Wilson Torres suffered serious injuries.

Just prior to the crash, Govin was said to be speeding and weaving in and out of traffic, according to the Sun Sentinel. It’s also likely that he was texting shortly before the tragic Florida car accident occurred.

According to evidence presented in the case, Cruz-Govin was driving between 61 and 69 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone. Records showed an outgoing text at 8:19 p.m. Paramedics were notified at 8:21.

"The (defendant) was clearly a chronic texter," the Torres’ attorney stated, citing the 127 texts Cruz-Govin sent on the day of the accident.

The paper also reports that police at the scene charged Cruz-Govin with speeding and reckless driving, but not vehicular homicide. He was fined $2,000, and his license was suspended for six months. He was also required to complete a court-ordered advanced driving course.

David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah and renowned texting and driving expert, testified at the trial on the effects of texting and driving. As he noted, drivers are eight times more likely to get involved in an accident while texting than when not.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Florida car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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