Today, around 3 p.m. PST, Bruce Jenner, was involved in a rear end collision in Malibu, California. For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Jenner, I like to think of him as the amazing Olympian that won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics that was held in Montreal. As child in the 70s, I remember him being on Wheaties cereal boxes and several small appearances in the CHiPS television show. And, he has reached celebrity status in the Kardashian TV series and most recently, an alleged (but unproven) desire to obtain a sex change.
Unfortunately, Bruce made the news today for being involved in a rear end crash that killed a fellow motorist in the land of beaches and sun. Apparently, the wreck occurred as Bruce was trying to elude up to 5 paparazzi that were following him on Corral Canyon Road (not far from Pepperdine University). The initial information indicated that it was a chain reaction wreck that involved up to four vehicles. Yet, other reports indicate that Mr. Jenner rear ended a vehicle and pushed that vehicle into oncoming traffic, which directly led to the death of the motorist in that vehicle. The photos of the property damage to the vehicles are more than convincing.
Interestingly, there is a current law (AB 2470) in California that imposes criminal sanction and punishment upon paparazzi, including jail time, that engage in reckless driving or block sidewalks in pursuit of celebrities. Whether or not any paparazzi are charged in this tragic incident remains to be seen. What is clear is that an innocent non-celebrity/non-paparazzi human lost his/her life over poor choices to be the first to post photos/video of Bruce on a celebrity gossip site.
Rear end collisions are the most common collision in the State of Georgia. Yet, they do not regularly occur escaping the wrath, greed and speed of the paparazzi. Currently, the State of Georgia does not have a statute on the books pertaining to paparazzi causing car crashes in our state. However, the movie industry has been gaining traction and footholds in the state (e.g. Atlanta, Senoia and Savannah) and filming and producing television and movie content due to favorable tax treatment and other perks. Recently, the director, location scout(s) and related staff of a movie starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron came to my home for a visit to determine if a room in the house was suitable for one of their scenes. By all accounts, the director and his staff were more than pleasant, extremely professional, and profusely grateful to tour the home. While Georgians hear or read of movie and TV stars dining at familiar restaurants or drinking at familiar establishments, we have yet to see the development of paparazzi hounding our temporary stars on our roads. Thank God.
If it is determined that the paparazzi contributed and/or caused this deadly collision, then the paparazzi and their employer(s) may be subject to exposure for civil and perhaps criminal exposure from any forthcoming wrongful death lawsuit that the family of the deceased motorist will surely file in court. Of course, the same would prove true for Bruce Jenner. I would be surprised if Mr. Jenner did not have a comprehensive auto policy that provided for bodily injury limits of at least $2 million and an umbrella policy in excess of $5 million. For the sake of the family that lost one of their treasured members, I certainly hope so. For the record, Mr. Jenner was tested for alcohol and/or drugs at the scene and passed. If Mr. Jenner had tested positive and had some culpability for the wreck, then punitive damages would come into play. However, this particular level of exposure to damages surpasses the intent of this blog.
I have personally handled hundreds of rear end collision cases in my career. These wrecks have caused serious damage where settlements have been in the seven digits. I sincerely hope that the at fault motorist(s) have sound and adequate auto and umbrella insurance despite that no amount of money can make up for, fix or repair the death of family. Truly, serious injuries and/or death can profoundly change and impact the whole family.
The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting car accident and rear end collision cases throughout Georgia. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of the negligence of a motorist, then please contact an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation to document and preserve evidence and present your claim in a competent and timely fashion. We have over 22 years experience and practice throughout the State of Georgia and can come to you. We are open 24 hours a day to take your call so please call 404-869-6969 or use our toll free number (855) LAW-FORD to secure your rights today!