Laura Arbeitman, as Administratrix of the Estate of Margaret Alene Sanders v. AT Systems New England, Inc., et.al.
James Campbell and Kathleen Guilfoyle obtained a defense verdict on April 11, 2013 in Northampton Superior Court in Laura Arbeitman, as Administratrix of the Estate of Margaret Alene Sanders v. AT Systems New England, Inc., et.al. This wrongful death action arose out of a fatal collision between an armored vehicle and a bicyclist at the entrance to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. The decedent, an avid bicyclist, was a twenty-three year old single woman. The bicyclist was preparing to pass the armored vehicle on the right (which was permissible). The plaintiff alleged that the armored vehicle made a sudden right turn causing the bicyclist to hit the armored vehicle. Upon impact, the bicyclist was propelled forward and she was fatally injured by the armored vehicle less than two seconds later.
Plaintiff asserted claims of negligent operation against the driver, negligent supervision against the truck captain and negligent training against the corporate defendants. Plaintiff also sought punitive damages; however, this claim was dismissed before trial. Key facts were that the bicyclist was always behind the armored vehicle, the armored vehicle never passed her, and the bicyclist was traveling at a rate of speed almost twice that of the armored vehicle. The driver testified that he did not see the bicyclist when he looked in the mirrors before starting the turn. No charges were brought against the driver by the Northampton Police. Demonstrative testing on the accident route was very helpful in illustrating visibility issues for bicyclist and the armored vehicle.
James M. Campbell served as lead trial counsel for AT Systems New England, Inc. in this case. Kathleen Guilfoyleserved as co-counsel.