Civil jury finds defendants responsible for death of beloved husband, father

New Haven, Conn. – On December 20, 2012, a civil jury in the New Haven Superior Court returned a verdict in favor of the Estate of Jose Campos and Gregoria Campos in the amount of $2.3 million dollars. The plaintiffs were represented by attorney Jack Mills, of Mills & Cahill, LLC, and attorney Donn Swift of Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, also in New Haven. The defendants in the case, Robert Coleman and the La Quinta Hotel chain, were represented by attorney Stephen Fogerty of Halloran & Sage, and John Kiernan, of Bonner, Kiernan in Boston.

Mr. Campos was struck while riding his bicycle in West Haven, Connecticut on September 15, 2008. He sustained serious head injuries, and died two days later at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Mr. Campos was survived by his wife, Gregoria Campos, and six children. Liability for the accident was hotly contested by the defendants, who argued that Mr. Campos failed to yield the right of way after exiting a side street with a stop sign. The plaintiffs contended that Mr. Coleman, the driver of a La Quinta Hotel hospitality van, was speeding and failed to keep a proper lookout.

The plaintiffs were originally represented in the case solely by the law firm of Lynch, Traub, Keefe & Errante, but the decision to bring in attorney Mills as lead trial counsel was made after jury selection was complete and it was clear the case would have to be tried to conclusion. Attorney Mills conducted both the opening and closing arguments, and he cross-examined the defendant operator and the accident reconstruction expert hired by the defense, Michael Cei.

Prior to jury selection, the parties had attempted to resolve the case through mediation before Judge Antonio Robaina in Hartford. However, the plaintiffs rejected the final offer made by the defense at that time to settle the case for $1million dollars. Evidence in the case took approximately two weeks, and twenty-one witnesses testified, including  five experts. During two days of jury deliberations the defendants increased their offer to $1.75 million dollars, which was again rejected by the plaintiffs.

Late in day on December 20, 2012, the jury returned its verdict, awarding $2,948,000 for the wrongful death claim, and $1,000 for the loss of consortium claim made on behalf of Mrs. Campos. The jury found that the defendants were 58% at fault for the accident, and that Mr. Campos was 42% at fault. When factoring in comparative negligence, the Campos family was left with just under $2.3 million dollars.

At the conclusion of the trial, attorney Mills said, “I am obviously extremely pleased with this result, and the fact that we were able to obtain justice for Mr. Campos and his family. He was a beloved husband, father and a giving member of the community, as evidenced by the many friends and family members who testified during the trial. I am also extremely proud that the family and attorney Swift had the confidence to hire me as lead plaintiffs’ counsel, and it was a pleasure working as a team to obtain this result against very formidable opposition.”

Mills & Cahill, LLC, has developed a reputation as experienced trial attorneys who successfully obtain jury verdicts on behalf of clients with serious injuries. Attorney John W. Mills has individually tried more than 50 cases to verdict in state and federal court. He is a Board-Certified Trial Advocate by the National Association of Trial Advocacy. Clients of Mills & Cahill, LLC, benefit from more than 30 years of practice in personal injury law.