A man was fleeing from Texas police at speeds topping 100 mph, when he crossed into oncoming traffic, ran through stop signs before his pickup smashed into another driver’s car in an intersection.
The 1999 wreck left a 7-year-old boy comatosed for a week, in the hospital for a month and in physical therapy for five years.
The man was later charged with using his truck as a deadly weapon, jumped bail and disappeared. He left behind a $300,000 auto insurance policy, money the family hoped would pay for their son’s medical bills.
But Nationwide Insurance, declined to pay, saying man violated his insurance contract by leading police on a wild chase all but guaranteed to end in a horrific wreck. Two courts have agreed with Nationwide.
Now the Texas Supreme Court will decide who deserves the law’s protection: a family whose car was in the wrong place at the wrong time or an insurance company with a reckless and irresponsible client.
The outcome will depend on how the Court interprets the man’s insurance policy, which included a standard “intentional acts exclusion” that would void coverage if he deliberately caused an accident.
Nationwide argues that the man ought to have known that disregarding stop signs, traffic signals and lane markings during a protracted high-speed police chase would eventually lead to the type of accident that critically injured the boy.
But the family said the accident was not inevitable. Significantly, they said, pursuing police officers noted that the man slammed on his brakes in an attempt to avoid hitting the family’s car.
The Supreme Court’s decision is expected next year.
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Doctor Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik of Southlake, Texas. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.