A truck-car accident in Waterford that killed three of the four occupants of the car has led to four lawsuits on behalf of the deceased, three of which have now been combined into a single action.
The accident occurred when traffic on Interstate Freeway 95 had slowed because of an earlier accident. The truck rear-ended the passenger car. One of the two children of the driver, who was seriously injured, died at the scene; her boyfriend and her other child died later from the injuries that they sustained.
The driver of the car filed lawsuits for personal injury and wrongful death against the truck driver and his employer, which owned the truck involved. The family of the boyfriend passenger also initiated a wrongful death action against the same defendants. Both plaintiffs have alleged that the driver was operating his vehicle negligently and recklessly, and that the employer was also at fault for scheduling the truck's delivery route in a way that led to the driver having to drive too fast. The lawsuits also claim that the truck's brakes and tires were defective, and that the employer failed to properly train the driver or to properly inspect the vehicle.
When multiple plaintiffs file civil lawsuits against the same defendants, they may seek to have some or all of the separate lawsuits combined into a single action. That has happened with three of the four lawsuits in this case. Combining actions serves the interests of judicial efficiency in multiple ways: the time to resolve all of the claims is shortened, court scheduling is made less complex, and plaintiffs can consolidate their resources to avoid duplication of effort in matters such as legal discovery and case preparation.
Personal injury and wrongful death legal counsel will be able to assist anyone who has been involved in an accident that has multiple plaintiffs to determine whether and how to seek to consolidate their actions into a single lawsuit, and to advise them on the effects that such a consolidation will have on their legal claims.
Source: My Record Journal, "Lawsuits filed on behalf of three Meriden residents killed in Interstate 95 crash," Andrew Ragali, August 24, 2015
Secondary Source: The Day, "Lawsuit filed on behalf of victims in fatal Waterford crash," Greg Smith, August 23, 2015