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Three named in wrongful death claim for fatal Pennsylvania accident

A Philadelphia man is among the defendants in a Pennsylvania lawsuit that also holds an out-of-state tow truck driver and his employer responsible for the death of a passenger. The wrongful death claim stated the victim suffered and died after the vehicle in which he traveled hit a tow truck performing an illegal road maneuver.

The lawsuit over the 2011 fatal truck accident was filed by the victim's estate. At least $50,000 in compensation was requested, along with punitive damages for the commercial truck driver's alleged "willful, wanton and reckless" actions.

The auto repair shop employee allegedly drove a flatbed truck down the wrong way of a busy street before trying to make an illegal U-turn. The claim said the tow truck driver turned across a divider and into the path of the car in which the victim was riding.

A charge of "excruciating" pain and suffering from blunt force trauma was among the multiple allegations listed in the lawsuit. The tow truck driver's employer was cited for negligence and blamed for hiring and retaining an employee with no regard for the rights of others.

The third defendant, the driver of the car in which the victim was a passenger, is blamed for failing to try to prevent the crash.

Economic damages are a crucial element in a wrongful death claim. The last medical bills of an accident victim, burial and funeral costs and the loss of future wages represent clear monetary damages.

Compensation value may also be applied for noneconomic losses like pain and suffering, loss of companionship or the forfeited pleasures of living. Punitive damages act as punishment and deterrent for defendants' reckless disregard for the rights of other human beings.

Wrongful death lawsuits are commonly filed by family members directly affected by tragedy. Spouses, children and parents become the recipients of damages that help them overcome the loss of a loved one.

Source: pennrecord.com, "Auto repair service and tow truck operator face wrongful death claim arising from fatal accident," Jon Campisi, Feb. 7, 2013

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