A lawsuit filed against the 79-year-old driver involved in a fatal crash at a Wendy’s restaurant last year in New Jersey has been settled for $1.2 million. In February of 2015, Elizabeth M. Garcia, then 78, drove her BMW through a window at the restaurant and struck 89-year-old John Ruiu, who died from his injuries two and a half weeks later.
Jody M. Ruiu-Geisert, the daughter and estate executor of John Ruiu, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ms. Garcia in Monmouth County Superior Court. The suit claimed that John Ruiu “suffered physical and emotional injuries, considerable pain, anguish and suffering and permanent injuries, which ultimately caused his death.” The lawsuit also alleges that Mr. Ruiu’s family was forced to “expend monies for (his) treatment and care” and suffered “other monetary and economic losses.”
The suit also named Garcia’s husband, Guillermo J. Garcia, as a co-Defendant in the case. It was alleged in the lawsuit that he “negligently, carelessly and/or recklessly entrust(ing) his/their motor vehicle” to Elizabeth Garcia.
Elizabeth Garcia did not face criminal charges following the crash and was only cited for careless driving, which she was found guilty of last September. She received the highest penalty for that violation – a $200 fine. Surveillance video of the crash, shown at Ms. Garcia’s trial on the careless driving charge, showed her SUV pass through a line of people waiting at the Wendy’s counter. It also showed that after the car crashed, Ms. Garcia put it in reverse and backed up less than a foot.
Source: The Jersey Journal
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