The fatal car accident that involved Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist and reality television star formerly known as Bruce Jenner, received widespread publicity in Connecticut and around the country when it occurred in February 2015. Jenner was driving a sport utility vehicle along Pacific Coast Highway when she rear-ended another car, pushing the second vehicle into oncoming traffic.
A woman in the second car was killed in the accident when a Hummer struck her vehicle. Although sheriff’s investigators found that Jenner had been traveling too fast for the road conditions at the time of the accident, prosecutors did not pursue a vehicular manslaughter charge against her. The stepchildren of the deceased woman filed a civil lawsuit against Jenner for her role in the fatal car accident, but the family has since dropped the wrongful death claim.
The deceased woman’s family originally filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Jenner in May. On Jan. 28, an attorney for Jenner announced that the wrongful death lawsuit had been dismissed. Initial reports did not include any more details from the court records about why the case was dismissed. Often, wrongful death lawsuits are dropped because a settlement is reached between the at-fault party and the victim.
A civil wrongful death action does not require the same burden of proof as criminal vehicular manslaughter charges. The family of a person who was killed in a car accident may be able to file a civil claim against the driver at fault even if the driver has not been criminally charged. An attorney can often assist the survivors in establishing that the defendant was negligent by a preponderance of the evidence.
Source: NBC News, “Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Caitlyn Jenner Dropped,” Jan. 28, 2016