Philadelphia personal injury attorneys have learned that reckless driving charges were filed against Jacqueline Badger Mars following a deadly motor vehicle accident earlier this month. Mars, heiress to the candy giant Mars, Inc., admitted to falling asleep while driving in Northern Virginia. The 73-year-old’s Porsche SUV crossed a median and crashed into a minivan carrying six people, including 86-year-old Irene Ellisor who died at the scene.
Ellisor was traveling home from a wedding with other family members. The other five passengers were hospitalized. According to multiple reports, the pregnant driver of the family’s minivan was critically injured, and lost her baby as a result of the motor vehicle accident. Mars is listed as one of the 400 richest people in America in Forbes Magazine. In 2013, the magazine estimated her net worth to be $20.5 billion. She is the daughter of the inventor of the Mars bar and M&M’s, and is said to be the richest person living in the greater D.C. area.
In addition to the reckless driving charge, Mars could potentially face a civil lawsuit including a wrongful death action on behalf of Ellisor. Wrongful death claims arise when a person or entity has either intentionally or negligently caused the death of another person. The laws surrounding such a claim like who can bring a wrongful death action and time period in which the lawsuit must be filed vary from state to state. However, in order bring a wrongful death lawsuit; it must be “proven that the acts or omissions of the defendant were the proximate cause of the decedent’s injuries and death, meaning the defendant’s wrongful conduct created a natural, direct series of events that led to the injury.”
The family of the deceased may be entitled to recover damages from the person or entity found liable. A recovery from a wrongful death claim helps to provide financial support to the family who has lost the support of the deceased, but it also is meant to encourage others to exercise caution in their future actions to help prevent a similar incident.
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling personal injury cases involving wrongful death claims and motor vehicle accidents. Our extremely skilled team of personal injury lawyers and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident or have lost a loved one and would like to discuss a potential wrongful death case or another personal injury, contact the personal injury attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More