Columbus Georgia lawyers win $3.4 million verdict for widow of bicyclist killed by teenage driver

A Columbus, Georgia jury returned a $3.4 million verdict last Thursday for the wrongful death of Harris County resident Scott Matty. Matty was struck by a 17-year-old driver while bicycling on Georgia 315 in February of 2008.

The Ledger-Enquirer has the story.

Police say the driver, Rachael Nicole Griffin, was driving a Ford Explorer when she ran over Matty from behind. Griffin also seriously injured a second bicyclist during the incident. Matty’s wife and his estate brought suit against the driver, Rachael Nicole Griffin, and her parents in 2008 seeking damages for wrongful death and pain and suffering. Dustin Brown and Jason Crawford, of the Columbus firm Daughtery, Crawford, Fuller & Brown, represented Matty’s wife and estate at trial. The jury’s verdict came to a total of exactly $3,416,122.

Griffin still faces criminal charges for the death of Matty. A Harris County grand jury indicted her on four counts nearly a year ago. Those charges include second degree vehicular homicide, following too closely, improper passing of a vehicle and failure to maintain lane. All of the charges are misdemeanors under Georgia law.

In addition to his wife, Matty also left behind three daughters.

Our personal injury attorneys have won several car accident cases which resulted in serious injuries or deaths. In many car wreck cases that result in serious injuries, the amount of medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering can be extreme. Under Georgia law, an innocent party, whether another driver or bystander, is generally entitled to recover these damages from the negligent driver. When a death occurs, the negligent driver may be liable for wrongful death which includes the full value of the decedent’s life. In many cases, this can lead to a substantial jury verdict or settlement as seen in this case.

Pate & Brody is an accomplished Georgia law firm with offices in Atlanta, Macon, Madison and Savannah. Our lawyers are dedicated to pursuing justice for crime victims, people who have been defrauded by deceptive business practices, or injured through the fault of others. Our lawyers have been recognized on the list of Georgia’s “Super Lawyers”, and included among Georgia’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine.


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