The 20-year-old daughter of a Spring Valley woman who was killed this week witnessed her mother Pamela LeBlanc being struck by a car as they stepped out of the Casa De Oro Dry Cleaners on Campo Road and Bonita Street.
The trauma of the car crash is something LeBlanc’s daughter will likely never forget. As passersby worked feverishly to free her mother from under the Pontiac G6 that struck her, the daughter watched helplessly as her mother was whisked away to Sharp Memorial Hospital where she died about an hour later.
“Family members who witness a close relative such as a child or parent die in an accident will likely suffer ongoing emotional pain and suffering,” said Attorney West Thomas, a San Diego personal injury attorney. “This ultimately could affect the young woman’s ability to cope with the pressures of college or work in the future and ultimately her financial stability.”
The Supreme Court of California held in Dillon v. Legg 68 Cal. 2d 728 (1968) that a bystander such as a mother and her daughter who witnessed the injury of her other child in a car accident could sue for emotional distress as a result of witnessing the accident. Initially, this case was dismissed by the trial court, but the Supreme Court held that a duty to a bystander could be established if a) the plaintiff was near the scene of the crash. b) the plaintiff’s witnessing of the crash led to emotional distress. c) the plaintiff was a close relation of the victim.
On the day of the Spring Valley crash, LeBlanc and her adult daughter were running errands and had just walked out of the dry cleaning business when the mother of two was struck by the driver of a Pontiac G6. The driver crashed into her and the store and landed on top of the woman. Good Samaritans who witnessed the crash including an employee from Sam’s Tune Up auto repair shop eventually freed her from underneath the Pontiac.
“This young lady no longer has the love of her mother or her support as a result of this car crash and it was not her fault,” Thomas said. “Her ability to move forward with her life and honor her mother’s memory will take time.”
This article is sponsored by the Thomas Law Firm. If we can help you with any legal questions involving personal injury or wrongful death, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-855-ASK WEST (1-855-275-9378) to speak with our attorneys. The Thomas Law Firm has offices in California including its headquarters in Irvine. We also have offices outside of Orange County to serve you in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside and in Las Vegas, Nevada.