Court reinstates motor vehicle injury claim summarily dismissed by trial judge
Barbara Chinoski died after she was struck by an SUV driven by Dino Palazzi. The medical records apparently documented that her death was caused in part by a combination of prescription drugs and heroin, combined with peripheral vascular disease and Reynaud's Syndrome. When the family sued the at-fault driver, his insurer argued that the family could not prove that the cause of death was accident-related and sought summary disposition. Either the family failed to respond with proof, or no such proof could be obtained, and the Court ruled in the at-fault insurer's favor. It then dismissed the Estate's negligence action entirely.
The family appealed, noting that Chinoski suffered a fractured leg and a closed head injury in the incident, and that her injury claim should have survived the defendant's motion (and her subsequent death), even if the wrongful death argument was dismissed. The higher court agreed and reinstated the injury survival action.