Providing Peace Of Mind

KH 360 Degree Difference: $7.425 Million Wrongful Death Settlement

by | Jul 3, 2024 | Firm News

What began as a devastating guardianship issue evolved into a multifaceted legal success encompassing guardianship, estate planning, asset protection, and a significant wrongful death victory. Our team’s dedication to listening to clients, asking the right questions, and leveraging our collective expertise made all the difference.

At Kelleher + Holland, LLC, our commitment to providing comprehensive legal services is exemplified by our recent $7.425 million wrongful death settlement. This story is not just a testament to our legal proficiency but also highlights the collaborative efforts and dedication of our team in serving our clients’ diverse needs.

A Heartbreaking Beginning

This case began when Don Morrison, litigation co-chair, was referred a potential guardianship matter. A minor had tragically lost his father in a car accident caused by a drunk driver being pursued by police officers in a high-speed chase. Tragically, just two years earlier, the boy’s mother died of cancer, leaving his paternal grandmother seeking guardianship. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Don reached out to Laura Dzielski, KH estate planning and administration attorney, to begin working on the guardianship while Don investigated the case for further information.

Uncovering the Truth

Don Morrison’s investigation revealed that the insurance policy limits from the drunk driver’s policy would be insufficient for the young man’s future needs. Investigating further, Don, along with litigation attorneys Mike Morrison and Megan Brannon, discovered that the police officers exhibited a reckless and conscious disregard for the safety of the public in executing this high-speed police chase.  Furthermore, the KH litigation team discovered that the police officers failed to activate their audible siren during the police pursuit, which was a direct violation of the police department’s policy on pursuits and further demonstrated a reckless and conscious disregard for the safety of the public.

Justice Served

These critical findings formed the basis of KH’s legal strategy in the wrongful death case. Through meticulous discovery and testimony from expert witnesses, Don, Mike and Megan successfully proved that the police officers had acted with a reckless and conscious disregard for the safety of the public. The case was set for trial, but ultimately settled for a total of $7.425 million ($7.4 million from the police department and $25,000 policy limits from the drunk driver’s insurance company). This victory not only provided financial security for the minor, but also underscored the importance of thorough legal investigation and advocacy.

Comprehensive Support for the Future

Yet Kelleher + Holland, LLC’s work did not end with the settlement. Our litigation estate planning team have collaborated to set up a structured settlement and trusts to ensure long-term financial stability and protection of the awarded funds. The structured settlement will allow for access necessary funds throughout the minor’s life (without any tax on accrued interest) and ensures financial stability while safeguarding his future assets.

“Our team’s dedication to going above and beyond for our clients is what sets us apart. This case is a powerful reminder of the impact we can make when we work together,” said Don Morrison.

Mike Morrison added, “It’s about digging deeper and finding solutions that others might overlook. Our commitment to justice and client care drives us to achieve remarkable outcomes.”

Megan Brannon emphasized, “Ensuring this young man’s future is protected became our priority. The structured settlement is a testament to our holistic approach to legal services.”

At Kelleher + Holland, LLC, we are proud to offer a full spectrum of legal services that address our clients’ varied needs. This story is just one example of our ability to transform challenging situations into successful outcomes, providing comprehensive support every step of the way. Trust us to make a difference, because at Kelleher + Holland, we listen, we care, and we deliver results.