8-Year-Old Awarded $350,000 in Accident Case
After a six-hour deliberation last Thursday, a jury awarded more than $350,000 to an 8-year-old boy.
The case in question concerns an auto accident in 2009 in which young Damon Marquand survived, but his mother and and another man did not. Carlos Illescas, a reporter for The Denver Post, provides a brief summary:
Damon was 7 when his mother, Grace Cruthers, was killed when a car driven at 110 mph by Dominick Wilmer, who was drunk and high on pot, went into a ditch on Titan Road, spun and rolled.
The jury assigned 85 percent of the blame to Wilmer and 15 percent to Cruthers, meaning the boy will receive 85 percent of the award, or $297,500.
According to Ethan McQuinn, Damon’s lawyer, American Family Insurance had previously attempted to settle the case out of court, although the amount offered was less than a third of the final award made by the court.
Ellen Tumposky, a writer for ABC News, notes that Wilmer is currently serving a thirteen-year prison sentence due to the two counts of vehicular homicide levied against him in this case. She also notes the expressions of regret he has made online:
Wilmer has expressed his remorse on a MySpace page. A friend wrote there: ‘Dom is currently serving time for a very tragic accident that took the lives of two wonderful people, he is really trying to turn his life around. He says to tell all God bless, and please be smart and don’t make any of the stupid decisions he did, and get yourself where he is.’