Mother, Son Collect $300,000 After Being Struck By Car
Migliore could not be reached for comment for this article. But his defense was that the mother and boy contributed to the accident by failing to cross the busy road at the intersection, where there was a button for pedstrians to press to change the light, stop traffic, and allow them to cross. However, Cameron explained that there was not an actual crosswalk at the intersection.
"[Teleski's] testimony was that he did not see them," said Cameron. "[Zheng and Lin] were wearing dark clothes, it was evening… he saw a flash but didn't see them in enough time to avoid impacting them."
Cameron said even though it was dark outside, the Subaru driver should have been able to see the pedestrians.
"Our argument was basically [Zheng and Lin] were stationary when the accident happened," said Cameron. "It wasn't like they were running across the street when it happened." He said the headlights from other cars and the fact that the mother was carrying light-colored bags should have enabled the Subaru driver to see the mother and son.
The plaintiffs hired an expert who was prepared to testify that the headlighs and lighter colored bags created both positive and negative contrasts that should have allowed the driver to see the pedestrians. (Positive contrast is when a bright object lies on a dark background. A negative contrast is where a dark object is silhouetted against a bright background.)
The defense, meanwhile, hired an expert to testify that the defendant was not speeding and didn't do anything else wrong. The defendant driver claimed it would have been much easier for the plaintiffs to see him and get out of his way than for the driver to see the pedestrians and stop in time.
Cameron noted that one aspect that made the defense case more difficult was that Connecticut has a parental immunity doctrine, which in this case prevented the mother from taking the blame for her son crossing the road and getting injured.
"If there was no parental immunity, the defendants could've blamed her legally," said Cameron. "The defendants could have said if she was negligent in crossing the street where she did, and she brought him with her, she's responsible for his injuries."
Without that argument, it was much harder for the defense lawyers to prove contributory negligence on the part of the young boy.
"The child is held to the standard of a 12-year-old," said Cameron. "You could try to argue he's negligent. But it's a lot harder to argue."