The wife of a St. Matthew’s University student who died in a car crash on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway last year has sued the driver of the vehicle blamed for causing the wreck and the passenger in that vehicle.
In a statement of claim filed with the Cayman Islands Grand Court on 14 November, Susan Yee – the widow of Richard Martin – alleges that Mr. Martin’s death was a direct result of the negligence of Patrick Brooks-Dixon. The claim also states that Victoria Jane Banks, Brooks-Dixon’s wife, is “vicariously liable” for the crash.
Brooks-Dixon has already pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving in May of this year and was sentenced to three years in prison. Ms Banks is also accused in the court filing of using Brooks-Dixon as the “driving agent” of the SUV that she owned. She was not accused of any criminal wrong-doing in connection with the crash. “Prior to the accident, [Ms Banks] had been in the company of [Brooks-Dixon] watching football and drinking alcohol at the Buttonwood Bar and the journey home from the bar, or otherwise, was for [Ms Banks] benefit and [Ms Banks] caused or permitted [Brooks-Dixon] to drive the Chevrolet therefor,” according to the statement of claim.
According to the lawsuit, the 30 November, 2011, crash occurred when the Honda Logo Mr. Martin drove was in the driveway entrance to the Lakeside Villas. The Chevy SUV driving south toward George Town on the Esterley Tibbetts went across the lanes, drove onto the grass verge of the road striking several trees before colliding with the Honda.
Both vehicles travelled 250 feet before coming to rest due to the force of the collision. It was believed the vehicle driven by Brooks-Dixon was driving in excess of 105 miles per hour at the time of the crash.
The lawsuit filed by Ms Yee does not specify an overall amount of damages sought from Brooks-Dixon and Ms Banks. However, it lists several claims where alleged losses occurred and the dollar amounts attached to those issues.
For instance, the lawsuit claims that Mr. Martin’s salary as an employee of Ms Yee’s company, Active Data, would have been about US$196,000 per year. Child care he provided for his daughter Zoe and 15-year-old Kayla Yee, who the lawsuit states “treated [Mr. Martin] as her father”, about 25 hours per week – would cost about US$58,000 per year.
Funeral costs for Mr. Martin were listed at more than US$83,000; the value of his Honda that was destroyed in the crash was listed at around US$5,600 and a Tag Heuer watch destroyed in the car crash was valued at US$2,500.
“[Mr. Martin] was a loving a dedicated husband and father,” the lawsuit states. “In 2011, [Mr. Martin] enrolled at St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine to train to obtain a medical qualification to, among other things, develop [Ms Yee’s] business further and provide an alternative source of income for their family.”