Venus Williams reaches a settlement with family of 78-year-old passenger who was killed when the tennis ace was T-boned by driver who then sued her for causing her husband’s ‘wrongful death’
- TMZ reports that 78-year-old Jerome Barson’s estate and the tennis pro reached an agreement for an undisclosed amount in the wrongful death lawsuit last week
- Video footage captured the grisly accident in Palm Beach on June 9, 2017
- Police had initially said Williams was to blame for the crash because she failed to yield the right-of-way but later determined both drivers had the right of way
- The Barson filed a wrongful death suit seeking unspecified damages for loss of companionship, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, medical and funeral costs
- Court records indicate Williams’ had been ordered last month to turn over any cellphones in her possession at the time of the crash for forensic analysis
- Ten days after that order was issued the plaintiffs filed a settlement proposal
Venus Williams has reached a settlement with the family of a man killed in a Florida car crash she was involved in last year.
TMZ reports that 78-year-old Jerome Barson’s estate and the tennis pro reached an agreement for an undisclosed amount in the wrongful death lawsuit last week.
Video footage captured the grisly accident near Williams’ home in Palm Beach on June 9, 2017.
Barson’s wife was driving a sedan that T-boned with Williams’ SUV after the 37-year-old was forced to stop in an intersection.
Barson died 13 days after the crash, but neither driver was charged as police determined both had the right of way.
Venus Williams has reached a settlement with the family of a man killed in a Florida car crash she was involved in last year
Jerome Barson (left) died after the sedan his wife Linda (right) was driving T-boned Venus Williams’ SUV in an intersection near the tennis pro’s home in Palm Beach on June 9, 2017
Police had initially said Williams was to blame for the crash because she failed to yield the right-of-way.
At the time, Williams told police she was trying to get across the junction but traffic was backed up and she had to slow down to a crawl, leaving her stranded in the middle of the junction as the light turned green in Barson’s direction.
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The late Jerome Barson was initially hospitalized for serious head injuries after the crash. His wife Linda was taken to hospital with injuries including a cracked sternum and multiple broken bones.
Photos from the crash scene show the Barsons’ vehicle crashed on the side of the road, with the front of the 2016 Hyundai Accent completely crumpled in on itself.
The airbags appear to have deployed in the front, and the back windows are shattered.
The Barson family’s wrongful death suit filed less than a month after the crash sought unspecified damages for loss of companionship for both Linda Barson and their family, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and medical and funeral expenses.
Both parties reportedly paid their own attorneys’ fees.
Williams told police she was trying to get across the junction but traffic was backed up and she had to slow down to a crawl, leaving her stranded in the middle of the junction
Linda Barson was driving with her husband in the passenger’s seat when the crash happened
Over the summer Barson’s estate filed a motion to subpoena all phone devices Williams had in her possession at the time of the crash, claiming she was using one shortly before it occurred.
Williams denied access to her devices and called the request a ‘wild goose chase’, arguing that handing over her cell would allow ‘unfettered and unlimited access to anything and everything on her phone’.
According to court records, the plaintiff’s motion for forensic inspection was approved by a judge on August 31.
A filing stipulates that Williams could pick and expert of her own choosing to complete the probe no later than October 8.
However, 10 days later the Barson estate filed a proposal for a settlement, which was reached on November 15.
Williams had previously pointed out that the family made no suggestion that she was on her cell phone at the time of the incident in their court filing, but instead referenced background data usage on the device.
AT&T provided records which showed that during the one hour period commencing at 12.27pm, Venus phone uploaded 881,646 bytes of data and downloaded 4,292,331 bytes of data.
Additionally, during the one hour period commencing on 12.46 pm, Venus uploaded 12,424 bytes of date and downloaded 11,204 bytes of data.
The accident took place at approximately 1.11pm.
AT&T phone records, however, only show that the phone was passively uploading and downloading content before the crash, William’s court filing says.
‘However, Plaintiff fails to point out, at the bottom of the chart, AT&T notes that, “The AT&T network constantly communicates with internet enabled devices when powered on”,’ court papers say.
But had Barson family claimed that they needed to determine whether the reference data usage on Venus phone actually occurred during the seconds leading up to and/or including the subject crash, and whether such data was used passively on her phone due to an open running application, or if it was instead the result of her actively using her phone.
‘In the event the phone was wiped clean subsequent to the crash, the plaintiff’s expert may need to examine the data stored on the cloud account to which the phone was backed up,’ court documents from June read.
Williams argues that showing her phone was using data doesn’t necessarily show she was using her phone.
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