Ohio residents may be familiar with the show “Storm Wranglers” and how its two stars died in a crash back in March of 2017. They were chasing a tornado in Texas when they apparently ran a stop sign and collided with a jeep driven by a 25-year-old storm spotter. The three individuals all were killed upon impact. The mother of the 25-year-old has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Weather Channel, the show’s network, for $125 million.
The lawsuit states that the storm-chasing duo was long known for their reckless driving, and the network did nothing to curb this. On the contrary, it encouraged the behavior as a way of making every storm chase more exciting for viewers. Watching the live streams of these chases, one can see the duo speeding, driving on the wrong side of freeway ramps, driving on private property and traveling through hail storms.
At the time of the crash, the duo’s vehicle was going 70 miles per hour. The force of the collision was so great that the vehicle catapulted over a 5-foot-tall fence 150 feet away. The 25-year-old storm spotter, who was employed by the National Weather Service, was driving away from the tornado when the crash occurred. The Weather Channel said it cannot comment on pending litigation.
Many fatal car crashes can provide the basis for a case under wrongful death law as long as negligence was involved. The family or another eligible dependent of the decedent can seek compensation for pre-death medical bills, funeral and burial expenses and loss of support or consortium. This is where having legal representation may be of benefit. A lawyer may hire investigators to gather proof against the driver or, as with the story above, against both driver and employer. Plaintiffs may let their lawyer negotiate for a settlement or prepare for litigation.
Source: Fox News, “ Weather Channel sued for $125M over death of man killed in ‘horrific’ Texas crash with storm chasers,” Katherine Lam, March 28, 2019