Smith and Kappendorff Hip Replacement Lawsuit
The Smith and Wesson and Gustavus Kappendorff Hip Replacement lawsuit were filed by the heirs of deceased businessmen, Harry W. Smith and Sr., and his son, Thomas W. Smith. On March 5, the two businessmen were driving on the interstate near Louisiana when their tractor trailer crashed into a cargo trailer hauling liquors and other goods, resulting in the death of Harry W. Smith and Sr. On April 3, Thomas W. Smith died in the accident, also suffering from severe burns to his torso. Harry’s wife, Louise W., and their son, Alphonse, died later that day from their burns. A week later, the Lufkin, TX area local authorities called the victims’ families to inform them that the bodies of the deceased businessmen had been found, with their legs severed at the thigh.
According to the lawyers, this accident was not the results of Harry and Thomas Smith’s negligence or wrongdoing, but was instead the result of another party’s recklessness.
Smith and Kappendorff argue that the injuries sustained by their father and nephew were caused when they were playing on the family’s dirt road property, which was close to a creek. Because the location of the accident was close to a wet and marshy area, the sons wern’t be expected to move very quickly from the scene, as it would have been impossible for them to avoid stepping on a wet and soggy trail. The two men were playing with their bikes when the accident occurred. An examination of the location, as well as medical records, concluded that the victims of the accident were not playing a dangerous game, but rather enjoyed the exercise they were engaging in while lying in the grass just prior to the crash.
Smith and Kappendorff argue that if their uncle had known that the location was wet and marshy, he may not have driven over the victims, since he was carrying an air mattress with him.
They say that the mattress might have swayed and caused the truck to flip over backwards, resulting in the deaths of both boys. They also contend that their uncle was not wearing a reflective jacket at the time of the accident and did not have a safety flag in place to keep him safe. He is also said to have failed to check his mirror prior to driving away, which he should have done since visibility is an essential component of driver responsibility.
Smith and Kappendorff’s attorney, Edward G. Cutler, say that the case is based on negligence, since the plaintiffs failed to use caution while playing on the street.
He also says that the boys were entitled to compensation for the emotional harm and physical injury they suffered as a result of the accident. He plans to file a claim against Smith for medical bills and pain and suffering, as well as for the hip replacement he expects will be provided through the wrongful death suit. He will be the main opponent of the insurance company, but will also be representing the other relatives who were not injured in the accident. He says they expect to finalize a settlement agreement in the next two months.
Smith and Kappendorff’s lawyer, Peter J. Smith, says that the family wants to pursue its claim against Smith for more than medical bills alone, noting that the hip replacement cost will be paid for through monthly installments.
However, the settlement may not be greater than four thousand dollars, according to Smith and Kappendorff. The insurance company will also have to cover other costs related to the accident. An evaluation of the current situation has been ordered, and the representatives of both sides are scheduled to meet in court on August 8th. There is a date set for the closing arguments.
In the meantime, a memorial service for Kappendorff has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 5th at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Chester County.
A viewing will follow at the funeral home. The Kappendorff family has set up a Facebook page in honor of its son, called “In Loving Memory,” and has asked that anyone who knows of his last location or who may know of his friends, notify them. For further details or to view photos of Joseph and Josephine, and other documents concerning the suit and Smith and Kappendorff’s attorney’s comments, visit the website listed below.