The family of Wei Juan Wu, a 79-year-old San Francisco woman, obtained a settlement of $1 million for a wrongful death claim involving a commercial truck driver that fatally struck her while crossing the street in 2013.
Representing Wu's family, Andrew H. Meisel of Meisel & Krentsa of San Francisco successfully negotiated the settlement for the policy limit of the commercial truck driver's liability policy limit with Northland Insurance. The settlement became official on April 24. 2014.
Wu was crossing Jerrold Avenue at its intersection with Bayshore Boulevard. The intersection has a marked pedestrian crosswalk; however, there is no stop sign or traffic light to control traffic. The commercial truck was proceeding north on Jerrold Avenue in the right hand lane. The truck struck and killed Wu as the truck driver was making a right turn from Jerrold to Bayshore.
Meisel indicated that while the police concluded Wu caused the incident by crossing outside the crosswalk, the evidence suggested she may have been in or near the crosswalk, that the truck may have been blocking the crosswalk and that the truck driver should have seen and yielded to the elderly pedestrian.
In negotiating the settlement, Meisel alleged that the truck driver was so focused on checking oncoming traffic to his left so that he could complete his turn that he may have been distracted and not looked back to his right -- the direction from which Wu was crossing the street.
"This tragedy was preventable and serves as another reminder of the importance of traffic engineering for pedestrian safety, as well as drivers paying careful attention to traffic conditions," added Meisel.
This case was settled prior to a complaint being filed.