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News > Young widow can move on thanks to settlement

Young widow can move on thanks to settlement

updated: 26-Feb-10

Represented by de Broglio Attorneys, Trish Phillips* lodged a claim with the Road Accident Fund for loss of support, after her 37-year-old husband Trevor died in a head-on collision in April 2007.

He had been travelling back from a work function with a colleague on the M4 highway at around midnight when another vehicle suddenly veered over from the other side of the highway and collided with the car in which Trevor was a passenger. Both he and the driver were killed instantly. The driver of the other car, who claimed to have been momentarily distracted at the time of the accident, was subsequently found guilty of negligent driving during the inquest.

With two degrees under his belt, Trevor had been a high-level manager at a top IT retail company and had been “going places” prior to his untimely death, according to de Broglio attorney Anna Kordas. His package in today’s terms would have equated to about R1-million per year.
The claim was instituted on behalf of his bereaved wife, now aged 38, and three small children, who were aged between one and nine when he was killed.

The matter was finalised on only the third day in court, having commenced on 10 February 2010 before being stood down until 23 February. On 24 February, Judge van der Heever awarded damages to the plaintiff in the amount of R3.7-million, in the absence of an offer from the Fund.

This speedy resolution of the matter will enable Trish, who has since relocated to the coast, to close this painful chapter and try to move forward with her life with her family.

“The victim had been earning a good salary and it was definitely a fantastic settlement,” said Kordas. “It was also speeded up by the fact that the plaintiff was extremely helpful and furnished me with all the necessary information and records that were needed to give to the actuary.”

*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality

Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.